LOLA TEAMS AND DRIVERS GET SET FOR 2005 SEASON
Lola Formula Three cars will be challenging for title honours in both classes of this years British Formula Three International Series that kicks off this weekend at Donington Park in Leicestershire.
After two seasons of ever improving form, which culminated in a race win and several podium positions in 2004, Lola's all-new B05/30 is aiming for a title charge this year with Brazilian - Danilo Dirani, run by P1 Motorsport and Northern Ireland's Steven Kane, entered by Promatecme UK.
Adding to the anticipation this season is the newly named National class for year old chassis. In what many are billing as the strongest line up in this category for years, Yorkshire's Charlie Hollings is hoping to follow up his impressive testing pace with a winning start to the season in his distinctive black and yellow Lola-Dome F106/04.
JDANILO DIRANI HAS PROVEN TO BE CONSISTENTLY QUICK IN PRE-SEASON TESTING
In preparation for the double-header race on Sunday, the teams were testing this morning (Thursday) at Donington, putting the final changes on the cars before the season gets underway. With a damp track drying slowly in the cool conditions, the P1 Lola which is powered by a Neil Brown prepared Mugen-Honda engine, was among the top bunch of runners until a spin in the dying moments of the session, on what the Brazilian believed to be his quickest lap.
"It was a good test today as we tried a variety of different set-ups with the car and I know that I could have gone a lot quicker," said DD. " I spun at the exit of the final corner after taking a bit too much kerb which was still very wet, but overall we are looking forward to the race weekend because that is when you get a true reflection of peoples pace."
After announcing his deal to race with Promatecme just four days ago, Steven Kane undertook his first laps in his Lola B05/30 this morning. The 24 year old former McLaren/Autosport Young Driver of the Year was immediately impressed with his mount, commenting; "I noticed straight away the stability and downforce of the car in the fast corners. Although we only did 17 laps today, I am confident that I have very good prospects for this season. This coming weekend will, in reality, be more of a test for us. But I am really exited about the car, the team and battling with the frontrunners."
The carbon black Lola was a testament to the professionalism of the Promatecme and Lola engineers who had worked the proverbial 'all-nighter' to get the car ready for the test today.
KANE HAD HIS FIRST LAPS IN THE LOLA AT DONINGTON THIS MORNING
Charlie Hollings showed his intent for class victories in his Promatecme run Lola-Dome by being in 3rd place overall during the first hour of today's test. The Formula Renault graduate has looked impressive in pre-season running and was relishing the official start of the season on Saturday.
"We are ready and everything feels good for this weekend. It was slightly frustrating today because we kept losing time and rhythm through all the red flag stoppages. However, I think that we can go in to the weekend with a great deal of confidence that we have a great car to make an impression on Sunday."
HOLLINGS IS HOPING TO TAKE NATIONAL HONOURS THIS WEEKEND
Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2005 British Formula Three International series will be run on Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon respectively.
The Lola Group is the oldest and most successful customer racecar manufacturers and was founded in 1958. A provider of specialist technology to motorsport and automotive companies, Lola have an in-house composite capability (CTS) and commercially available state-of-the-art 50% scale windtunnel and 7-post test rig. With 240 highly skilled and experienced staff, Lola have the technology to win and the technology to deliver.
<pre> Testing times -- Friday Conditions: Damp then dry
1. Mike Conway (GB) Fortec Dallara 1m03.152s 2. Ryan Lewis (GB) T-Sport Dallara 1m03.560s 3. Marko Asmer (EST) Hitech Dallara 1m03.631s 4. Bruno Senna (BR) RR Racing Dallara 1m03.761s 5. Dan Clarke (GB) RR Racing Dallara 1m03.765s 6. Susie Stoddart (GB) ADR Dallara 1m03.830s 7. Charlie Kimball (US) Carlin Dallara 1m03.830s 8. Danilo Dirani (BR) P1 Lola 1m04.014s 9. Stephen Jelley (GB) Menu Dallara 1m04.104s 10. Barton Mawer (AUS) T-Sport Dallara 1m04.596s
15. Charlie Hollings (GB) Promatecme Lola-Dome 1m04.976s