The international sports car season kicks off at the Sebring 12 Hours this weekend with five Lola LMP cars on the entry list for the running of the classic endurance event. With Huntingdon designed and built LMP cars making up half of the total prototype entry list, the growing legion of Lola fans will be spoilt for choice this weekend at the challenging 3.7-mile circuit in Florida.

Dyson Racing have seen many changes over the off-season with the team committing to Dunlop tyres, a new driver, Andy Meyrick, to partner Chris Dyson and Guy Smith and an exciting and innovative announcement regarding the fuel that will power their Mazda engined Lola LMP2.

Dyson Racing, with co-operation from partners BP and Mazda, will campaign its Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 LMP2 coupe on Isobutanol for the full 2010 season.

“Technologies and fuels used in the ALMS are setting the stage for positive ecological developments for consumer cars in the future,” said team principal and driver, Chris Dyson. “It is very exciting for Dyson Racing and all of our partners to be at the cutting edge of this exciting and relevant technology.”

In LMP1, four Lola sports cars with four different power plants (Judd, Aston Martin, Mazda and AER) will be aiming for big results this weekend. Drayson Racing will undertake their first Sebring 12 Hours with an LMP and have recruited four-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Emanuele Pirro to join team owner Lord Paul Drayson and rapid youngster Jonny Cocker within the team.

With 2010 Lola bodywork and suspension updates, the Judd powered Drayson Lola undertook its first serious test of the year at Sebring last weekend. With the engineering leadership experience of Dale White and Graham Moore on the pitwall, the Drayson Racing team will be looking to add to its superb performance at the 2009 season closing event at Okayama in Japan last autumn where Cocker took a double pole position.

“We are going to have more experience, have more testing, we should have a better car and everybody collectively is going to be in a better position,” said Jonny Cocker ahead of the race weekend. “I don’t see any reason why we can’t challenge there the guys that are established and more experienced than ourselves.“

Aston Martin Racing return to competition with their Lola B09/60 LMP1 this weekend after an eventful test at Sebring last month. Harald Primat has recovered well from his large accident at Turn 1 and returns to the cockpit with Mexican, Adrian Fernandez, and the UK’s Chris Buncombe, who took the 2007 Le Mans LMP2 crown with Lola.

Lola was delighted to see Jon Field from Intersport Racing walk away without serious injury from a high speed accident during practice yesterday and all at Huntingdon wish him a speedy return to the cockpit. Jon and the Intersport Racing team had been setting some sensational lap times prior to the accident and heading the timesheets. The team will now look ahead to the Long Beach event next month.

Autocon Motorsports start a very busy year with the familiar orange and white open cockpit Lola chassis. Team regulars Bryan Willman and Tony Burgess are joined by experienced GT campaigner Pierre Ehret in the turbo powered Lola LMP1. Autocon scored podium positions in LMP1 last year and for 2010 will take in the whole ALMS season as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

All pictures courtesy of americanlemans.com

The Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 driven by Stefan Mucke, Harold Primat and Adrian Fernandez.

The LMP1 Drayson Racing B09/60 Judd of Paul Drayson, Jonny Cocker and Emanuele Pirro.

Another LMP1 contender is the Intersport Racing Lola-AER B06/10 driven by Jon Field and Clint Field.

A potential LMP2 winner is the Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda B09/86 of Chris Dyson, Guy Smith and Andy Meyrick.

Bryan Willman, Tony Burgess and Pierre Ehert will drive the Autocon Motorsports Lola-AER B06/10.

The cockpit of the Drayson Racing Lola.