Lola sportscars ended the 2008 Le Mans Series in fine style on their home turf of Silverstone this weekend with the Huntingdon-based constructor celebrating its best ever finish when the Charouz Lola-Aston Martin came home in 2nd place.

Silverstone saw the climax to a stunning debut season with the Lola B08/60 LMP1 Coupe for the Charouz Racing System team. Following a podium place at Barcelona in April and a superb 8th overall at the Le Mans 24 Hours in March, the V12 powered Lola fought with the newly crowned diesel powered Audi’s during the 1000kms yesterday, eventually finishing a highly lauded runner up in the 195 lap race, that was attended by over 50,000 people during the weekend.

German driver, Stefan Mucke, started the race and ran a close 4 th in the early stages. The Lola-Aston Martin stayed in touch with the leading runners who soon fell away after hitting trouble due to various accidents. After the team cleverly took the opportunity to fill up with fuel during a safety car period, Jan Charouz took over and led the race for a time before losing out to one of the Audi R10’s at the next pit stop, again conducted under a caution period.

However, Charouz lapped competitively and remained right behind the title contender, showing the eye catching pace of the Lola that has consistently proved to be the only true challenger to the works Audi and Peugeot teams this season. Jan Charouz, who at just 21 has proved to be one of the up and coming young talents of the LMS, even survived some contact with a GT car. “We not only confirmed the fact that we are fastest petrol car today but we also beat three turbo diesels as they did various mistakes,” said a delighted Jan Charouz at the end of the race. “We put in consistent lap times and it was a very important result for us. One slower car damaged the bodywork when I was overtaking him but fortunately it was not a serious problem. It was one of the biggest races for me and I am very happy.”

Lola also celebrated a podium position in the LMP2 class with the Quifel-ASM Lola B05/40-AER taking third position. Olivier Pla showed some searing pace in the Portuguese run Lola, starting the race and completing a memorable triple stint, running in contention with the podium positioned cars in the early stages.

Miguel Amaral took over the steering wheel in the middle portion of the race and despite a collision with the Embassy run LMP2 car of IRL driver Darren Manning, he handed back over to Olivier Pla.

The Frenchman came home in 4th place but the impressive Quifel-ASM team were elevated to 3rd place when the other Embassy car of Jonny Kane and Warren Hughes was penalised for exiting the pit lane on a red light. The podium marked another excellent result for Antonio Simoes team who now will look forward to the 2009 season and a fresh challenge in sportscars.

A highly creditable 4th place in LMP2 was the all-new RML MG-Lola LMP2 Coupe of Tommy Erdos and Mike Newton. After just a few hours of testing at Snetterton last week the familiar red, white and blue liveried sportscar used the race weekend as an extended test but were very happy with the way the car ran on its way to more points, ensuring that the reigning LMS champions finished equal 4th in the LMP2 points standings.

Running without any significant technical problems all weekend, the MG-Lola will now enter an intense winter of testing to ensure that that it will be in prime position to re-capture the LMP2 title in 2009.

“Developing what is, in effect, a new car, does take time,” said an excited Mike Newton over the weekend at Silverstone. “But we’re gathering the data, and learning more and more, and that’s what we’ll carry forward from this weekend. Preparing for next season was always our main objective behind being here.”

Speedy Racing Team Sebah had a disappointing end to a race that had promised so much throughout the weekend. Proving to be the second quickest LMP2 entry during the race, the Lola B08/80 was placed a close second in class and a brilliant 5th overall at one stage until an accident took it out the 1000kms event.

Xavier Pompidou qualified the Lola LMP2 Coupe third on the LMP2 grid and got a fantastic start to sit a comfortable 2nd in the opening two hours. However, in the third hour Pompidou tangled with the GT Lamborghini driven by Roman Rusinov and hit the wall at Woodcote Corner.

“I don’t understand why he did not let me overtake him,” said an angry Pompidou after the race. “I flashed the light for half a lap but he (Rusinov) was ignoring the blue flags, he touched me 4 times before we arrived on the straight lane. I am really disappointed, It’s really a shame, we were heading for a very good result.”

Kruse Schiller scored their second consecutive finish at Silverstone and grabbed 2 points after being classified 7th in LMP2.

Hideki Noda and Jean De Pourtales ran cleanly all race in the Mazda powered Lola B05/40 to add to their points tally gained at Spa in May. The German run team are also looking to race at the forthcoming Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca races in the American Le Mans Series to ensure they have more miles under their belts before a full campaign in 2009.

2008 has seen Lola sportscars claim to be the fastest customer proposition on the grid in LMP1. In LMP2 the Speedy Racing Teram Sebah Coupe has also been the only consistent threat to the Porsche Spyders. With Lola engineers now entering an intense period of improvements and updates at its Huntingdon based headquarters, both existing and new teams to Lola will now be looking forward to an even more successful 2009 racing season.

The next sportscar action for Lola is at the Petit Le Mans 10 hour race at Road Atlanta on October 5. Another new LMP2 Coupe will be in action there with the BK Motorsport Mazda team in action.


Pos Cl Drivers Car Time
1. LMP1 Capello/Mcnish Audi R10 TDI 5:40:24.862 - 195 laps
2. LMP1 Mucke/Charouz Lola Aston Martin + 2 laps
3. LMP1 Dumas/Boullion Pescarolo Judd + 4 laps
4. LMP1 Premat/Rockenfeller Audi R10 TDI + 4 laps
5. LMP2 Van Merksteijn/Verstappen Porsche RS Spyder + 4 laps
6. LMP1 Campbell-Walter/Hall Creation Aim + 4 laps
7. LMP1 Primat/Tinseau Pescarolo Judd + 5 laps
8. LMP1 Ortelli/Ayari Courage-Oreca Judd + 6 laps
9. LMP2 Lienhard/Theys/Lammers Porsche RS Spyder + 8 laps
10. LMP2 Amaral/Pla Lola AER + 10 laps
11. LMP2 Erdos/Newton Lola MG + 11 laps
12. LMP2 Elgaard/Nielsen Porsche RS Spyder + 11 laps
13. LMP2 Hughes/Kane WF01 Zytek + 11 laps
14. LMP1 Barbosa/Ickx/Hollings Pescarolo Judd + 12 laps
15. LMP2 Ojjeh/Gosselin/Sharpe Zytek 07S + 12 laps
16. LMP1 Nicolet/Hein Pescarolo Judd + 12 laps
17. LMP1 Panis/Lapierre Courage-Oreca Judd + 12 laps
18. LMP2 De Pourtales/Noda Lola Mazda + 13 laps
19. LMP1 Lamy/Sarrazin Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP + 13 laps
20. GT1 Garcia/Enge Aston Martin DBR9 + 17 laps
21. GT1 Rusinov/Kox Lamborghini + 18 laps
22. GT1 Goueslard/Moreau Corvette C6.R + 21 laps
23. LMP2 Ragues/Lahaye Pescarolo Judd + 21 laps
24. GT1 Hardman/Leventis/Turner Aston Martin DBR9 + 22 laps
25. LMP1 Nakano/Valles Epsilon Euskadi Judd + 23 laps
26. GT2 Bell/Melo Ferrari F430 GT + 23 laps
27. GT2 Lieb/Davison Porsche 997 GT3 RSR + 24 laps
28. GT2 Ehret/Kaffer/Beltoise Ferrari F430 GT + 26 laps
29. GT2 Coronel/Kelleners/Vasiliev Spyker C8 Laviolette + 27 laps
30. GT2 Ried/Felbermayr/Felbermayr Porsche 997 GT3 RSR + 33 laps
31. GT2 Kutemann/Basso /Gilbert Ferrari F430 GT + 35 laps
32. LMP2 Rostan/Petersen/Lueders Radical AER + 35 laps
33. GT2 Van Der Merwe/Sugden/Outzen Aston Martin Vantage + 36 laps
34. GT2 Chiesa/Leuenberger Spyker C8 Laviolette + 37 laps
35. LMP2 Manning/Foster WF01 Zytek + 39 laps
36. GT2 Aucott/Daoudi Ferrari F430 GT + 50 laps

Not Classified:

Cl Drivers Car Laps
LMP2 Barazi /Vergers/Rees Zytek 07S 162
GT2 Alandras/Lecourt Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 91
LMP1 Simpson/Lewis Creation Aim 89
LMP2 Belicchi/Pompidou/Zacchia Lola Judd 75
LMP1 Burguenol/De Castro Epsilon Euskadi Judd 59
GT2 Daniels/Bamford/Griffin Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 55
GT2 Nielsenk/Werner Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 51
LMP1 Gene/Minassian Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP 45
GT2 Narac/Lietz Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 38
LMP2 Salini/Salini/Gommendy WR Zytek 3

All pictures by Jakob Ebrey and John Brooks.

The Charouz Racing B08/80 Aston Martin, driven by Stefan Mucke and Jan Charouz, was a superb second at Silverstone.

The Speedy Racing Team Sebah LMP2 B08/60 Judd qualified 3rd in class but was an unfortunate retirement.

A promising 4th in LMP2 for the debuting RML MG-Lola Coupe of Tommy Erdos and Mike Newton.

The Kruse Schiller Motorsport B05/40 Mazda were 7th in LMP2.

3rd in LMP2 for the Quifel ASM Team B05/40-AER driven by Olivier Pla and Miguel Amaral.

Stefan Mucke and Jan Charouz (second from the left) on the LMP1 podium.

The B08/80 Aston Martin is looking better and better with each outing.

The B08/80 Aston Martin heads the rest of the field.

The RML MG-Lola Coupe went well despite minimal testing.

Glamour on the grid.... and the girls look good too.

Another shot of the Quifel ASM Team B05/40-AER.

The B08/80 Aston Martin speeds past the pits.