Lola scored a memorable class win in the LMP2 category and its customer cars finished 6th and 7th overall at the 59th running of the Sebring 12 hours this weekend. On the tough, bumpy airfield circuit in central Florida, temperatures reached up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and with 55 cars on the grid, the Lola entered prototype sports cars showed they had the pace and durability to start the season with a victory. The Level 5 Motorsports team celebrated a class triumph after a near faultless drive by Scott Tucker, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Luis Diaz, who finished ten laps clear of the second-placed car. The team, in conjunction with the Lola factory worked day and night to get the HPD powered cars to the season opening race. With no testing the Level 5 team quickly got to grips with the open cockpit and Coupe cars and had a reliable run to the flag. The winning car was delayed only by a minor wheel nut problem early in the race. The sister Level 5 Lola-HPD Coupe of Scott Tucker, Christophe Bouchut and Joao Barbosa finished in 4th place.

“We kept the Lola clean and never had a scratch on it. The team and all the Lola guys did a fantastic job. This victory tastes very sweet and is the start we all dreamed of.” said team driver Ryan Hunter Reay.

Lola saw two of its teams finishing in the top ten overall. Chris Dyson, Guy Smith and Jay Cochran had a strong, clean race, and made good use of the yellow flags to improve their positions before finishing sixth in the LMP1 class with their Lola-Mazda LMP1. The result puts Dyson 2nd in the ALMS points standings and puts them in a good position for a title campaign in 2011.

Rebellion Racing finished 7th overall despite being delayed by contact during the race, which saw them having to change the rear bodywork of the Lola. The Swiss team also took a conservative approach to the set up in order to achieve a top finish.

The Rebellion Lola-Toyota team put more than 26 hours on their new Toyota engine without fault during the Sebring week, an encouraging sign for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June and the forthcoming Le Mans Series.

Rebellion Racing, along with all of the other Sebring runners sported a special tribute message to the Japanese nation after the natural disasters in the country last week. Click here to find out how you can help - www.jrc.or.jp/english.

The Cytosport Lola Aston Martin retired after 151 laps after a bearing failure caused the oil temperatures in the gearbox to rise, and the team retired the car in the seventh hour.

Lola Executive Chairman, Martin Birrane said of the weekend’s performance. “All our teams ran extremely well this weekend within a very competitive field. Level 5 deserved their LMP2 class win after joining the Lola engineers over the last 6 weeks in getting the cars ready within a very tight timeframe. This result is the perfect platform for another successful campaign in 2011.”

At least five Lola sports cars are back in action at the Paul Ricard 8 Hours on April 2nd in the first round of the 2011 Le Mans Series.

Race Result
Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap
1. LMP1 Lapierre/Duval/Panis ORECA Peugeot 12h00m28.423s
2. LMP1 Brabham/Franchitti/Pagenaud Highcroft HPD + 31.868s
3. LMP1 Montagny/Sarrazin/Lamy Peugeot + 44.502s
4. LMP1 Capello/Kristensen/McNish Audi + 5 laps
5. LMP1 Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller Audi + 6 laps
6. LMP1 Dyson/Smith/Cochran Dyson Lola-Mazda + 8 laps
7. LMP1 Prost/Jani/Bleekemolen Rebellion Lola-Toyota + 12 laps
8. LMP1 Wurz/Gene/Davidson Peugeot + 17 laps
9. LMPC Petersen/Cameron/Guasch Genoa ORECA + 20 laps
10. GT Priaulx/Muller/Hand BMW + 20 laps
11. LMPC Bennett/Montecalvo/Dalziel Core ORECA + 20 laps
12. GT Farfus/Auberlen/Werner BMW + 20 laps
13. GT Beretta/Milner/Garcia Corvette + 20 laps
14. GT Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook Corvette + 21 laps
15. GT Fisichella/Bruni/Kaffer AF Corse Ferrari + 21 laps
16. GT Bergmeister/Long/Lieb Flying Lizard Porsche + 22 laps
17. GT Law/Neiman/Holzer Flying Lizard Porsche + 26 laps
18. LMPC Jeannette/Gonzalez/Junco Core ORECA + 27 laps
19. GTE Am Krohn/Jonsson/Rugolo Krohn Ferrari + 30 laps
20. LMP2 Tucker/Hunter-Reay/Diaz Level 5 Lola-Honda + 32 laps
21. GTC Pappas/Faulkner/Bleekemolen Black Swan Porsche + 33 laps
22. GTC Enda/Pumpelly/Li TRG Porsche + 33 laps
23. GTC Cisneros/Kauffmann/Edwards NGT Porsche + 36 laps
24. GTC Ham/Blackett/Cumming JDX Porsche + 37 laps
25. GTC Von Moltke/Ludwig/Norman TRG Porsche + 37 laps
26. GT Robertson/Robertson/Said Robertson Doran Ford + 38 laps
27. LMPC Lux/Julian/Zugel Genoa ORECA + 38 laps
28. GT Ortelli/Mackowiecki/Deletraz Luxury Ferrari + 40 laps
29. GTC LeSaffre/Davis/Faieta Kelly Moss Porsche + 41 laps
30. LMP2 Mailleux/Ordonez/Ayari Signatech ORECA-Nissan + 42 laps
31. LMP2 Barlesi/da Rocha/Lafargue OAK Pescarolo-Judd + 45 laps
32. GTC Potter/Stanton/Marsh Magnus Porsche + 50 laps
33. LMP2 Tucker/Bouchut/Barbosa Level 5 Lola-Honda + 52 laps
34. GTC Sweedler/Keen/Wong Alex Job Porsche + 53 laps
35. GT Brown/Cosmo/Bell Extreme Speed Ferrari + 64 laps*
36. GT Melo/Vilander/Salo Risi Ferrari + 66 laps*
37. GT Murry/Lazzaro/Braun Robertson Doran Ford + 71 laps*
38. GT Jones/Moran/Wilden RSR Jaguar + 76 laps
39. GTE Am Lietz/Roda/Ried Proton Porsche + 80 laps * Not running at chequered flag.

Not classified
LMPC Nicolosi/Boon/Lueders Performance Tech ORECA 246 laps*
GT Miller/Rast/Maassen Miller Porsche 231 laps
GTE Am Ehret/Lynn/Wills CRS Ferrari 226 laps
LMP1 Lahaye/Moreau/Ragues OAK Pescarolo-Judd 222 laps
GT Henzler/Sellers/Ragginger Falken Porsche 220 laps
LMPC Moro/Mowlem/Lombard WRO ORECA 203 laps
LMPC Dobson/Lewis/Richard PR1 Mathiasen ORECA 185 laps
LMP1 Pickett/Graf/Luhr Muscle Milk Lola-Aston 151 laps
LMP1 Nicolet/Hein/Yvon OAK Pescarolo-Judd 111 laps
GTC Curtis/Sofronas/Seyffarth GMG Porsche 87 laps
LMPC Marcelli/Drissi/Mitchell Intersport ORECA 86 laps
GT Sharp/van Overbeek/Farnbacher Extreme Speed Ferrari 49 laps
GTE Am Bornhauser/Canal/Gardel Larbre Corvette 37 laps
GT Junqueira/da Matta/Servia RSR Jaguar 35 laps*
GT James/Leuenberger Panoz 19 laps
GT Pastorelli/Schwager West Lamborghini 10 laps
GTE Am Giroix/Goethe/Wainwright Gulf Aston Martin 5 laps* Running again at finish

All pictures Lola Heritage unless otherwise stated.

The Tucker/Hunter-Reay/Diaz Level 5 Lola-Honda won the LMP2 class on its debut. (americanlemans.com)

The victorious Level 5 team on Sebring LMP2 podium.

A good run to 7th for the Prost/Jani/Bleekemolen Rebellion Lola-Toyota.

The LMP1 Dyson/Smith/Cochran Dyson Lola-Mazda finished in 6th.

The sun sets on the LMP1 Rebellion Lola-Toyota.

The LMP2 Tucker/Hunter-Reay/Diaz Level 5 Lola-Honda.

The Lola-Toyota races in the sun.

The LMP1 Pickett/Graf/Luhr Muscle Milk Lola-Aston retired.