SEVEN LOLA'S HEAD TO THE ARDENNES
The magnificent Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium will reverberate to the sound of seven Lola sports cars this weekend. The second round of this years Le Mans Series will act as a mini warm up for next months Le Mans 24 Hours. Rebellion Racing, Signature-Plus, Racing Box, RML and Kruse-Schiller will all be in action at the scenic 4.532-mile circuit in the Ardennes forest. Making up one/third of the LMP grid, Huntingdon designed and built sports cars will take on the might of the factory Audi and Peugeot diesel entries over 1000kms on Sunday afternoon.
Rebellion Racing arrives in Belgium after a rewarding third place at Paul Ricard four weeks ago. The Anglo/Swiss teams brace of Lola-Rebellion LMP1’s cars proved to be instantly popular with a unique and eye catching gold, white and red livery. Andrea Belicchi and Jean Christophe Boullion finished 3rd at Ricard to accrue vital points in this years LMP1 title hunt.
In the #12 Lola-Rebellion will be Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost. Jani has a tremendous record at Spa having won in Formula Renault. “I beat guys like Kubica, Hamilton and Klien in 2002,” said Jani, ahead of this weekend’s race. “I know the track really well, so I’m confident and I think we also have a good car in high-speed corners with the Lola Rebellion LMP1 and we have a great team to make sure we get the optimum result.”
Signature Plus also enjoyed a solid start to their season as they finished 5th at Paul Ricard in the LMP1 Lola-Aston Martin. Frank Mailleux, Pierre Ragues and Vanina Ickx will once again team up at Spa in the V12 powered Lola.
In LMP2, Racing Box continue with their two car attack and an all Italian line up in both entries. The Piccini brothers, Andrea and Giacomo, are joined by team principal Ferdinando Geri, while in the #29 car, Filippo Francioni re-joins the team for his first race of 2010 alongside Luca Pirri. Francioni has fond memories of Spa, having won an incredible race in an SR2 Lucchini here back in 2000, when he vanquished many SR1 entries.
RML had an encouraging start to the season with a 3rd place finish at Paul Ricard last month. The Lola stalwarts are sure to be a real force in Belgium with Tommy Erdos, Andy Wallace and Mike Newton now familiar with the Dunlop tyres and new HPD powerplant.
Kruse-Schiller make the short trip from Germany with their Judd powered open cockpit Lola. Kai Kruse and Hardy Schiller have worked very hard over the winter period to put together a package which could surprise at Spa after the team enjoyed a successful test at the Dahlem airbase last week.
Former British F3 racer Jonathan Kennard joins team regulars Hideki Noda and Jean De Pourtales on the driving team, after an impressive debut in the first round at Paul Ricard.
Qualifying for the 1000kms takes place on Saturday at 13.50cet with the race starting at 11.30cet on Sunday morning.