LOLA END SEASON ON A HIGH AT ZHUHAI 6 HOURS
Lola LMP cars rounded out the 2011 season successfully in China last weekend.The Rebellion Lola-Toyota of Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost finished a fine 4th overall, once again being the first petrol powered LMP car to take the chequered flag. In finishing the six hour event in 4th place, Rebellion Racing sealed 3rd position in the inaugural Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and were positioned as the highest placed privateer team. The team have enjoyed a fruitful season racing in both the ILMC and the Le Mans Series where they were crowned team champions. Lola and Toyota also took the LMS manufacturers' crown.
Lola Managing Director, Robin Brundle, paid tribute to all of Lola's customers' performances in 2011 stating: "It has been a tremendously successful season for Lola with some truly stellar performances by our excellent customer teams in the ILMC, ALMS and the LMS.Their professionalism and attention to detail perfectly reflects the Lola ethos and we very look forward to challenging for race wins, class wins and more silverware in 2012."
Neel Jani drove the first portion of the Zhuhai race, quickly emerging as the quickest of the petrol powered LMP cars. Just after the hour mark though the Swiss driver was forced to pit after contact with Allan McNish's recovering Audi.The Rebellion team showed their renowned efficiency in the pits stop, utilising the quick release rear-end of the Lola design rear bodywork to save valuable time and rejoin the race, albeit just over two laps behind the petrol powered opposition.
With some scintillating laps, first Jani then Prost brought the Huntingdon designed and built LMP1 back in-to contention and in the final hour it was Jani who overtook Olivier Pla's Oak Pescarolo and quickly pulled away to seal 4th place.
"I am delighted with this result that rewards our hard work this year," said a happy Nicolas Prost after the race. "The Lola-Toyota was great to drive today and I was able to push very hard to recover during my stints. Once again it was not a trouble-free race, but at the end the result we have achieved with Neel and the team is even more valuable."
The Aston Martin Racing entered Lola finished a solid 6th after a trouble-free run for Stefan Mucke and in the Aston Martin V12 powered Lola LMP1.The Banbury based team followed up their excellent win at the Laguna Seca ALMS race in September to finish off the season with another strong showing.
Although the 2011 season has come to a close, Lola engineers have long since been busy in the technical centre at Huntingdon developing new upgrades and products for the 2012 season. New customers will be joining existing teams to further enhance Lola's reputation as the number one customer LMP choice next year when the action begins at the Sebring 12 Hours in March.