David Reininger - Motorsport News International
Daytona Beach, FL (January 29, 1999) - The Rolex 24 at Daytona has been shaping up as a classic Ford vs. Ferrari battle. But two new Lola B98/10 chassis may present a challenge to the R&S Fords and 333 SP Ferraris if they can go the distance.
One of the Lolas, driven by Jon Field, Sam Hornish, Ryan Jones and Mike Shank, is powered by a Ford engine. The second Lola, powered by a 3.6-liter, twin turbo, Lotus V8, has the more experienced team of Franz Konrad, Jan Lammers and Vicenzo Sospiri. Konrad drove his Porsche 911 to a GT2 victory at last years Rolex 24. They were fourth overall.
Konrad followed up his Rolex 24 win with a GT2 victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring two months later.
Jan Lammers is no stranger to victory lane at the Rolex 24, having won the event in 1990 driving the Jaguar XJR-12. He last competed in this race in 1995. Lammers drove in four FIA GT events in 1998.
Sospiri was 1998 ISRS driving champion along with his teammate Emmanuel Collard. Sospiri is lightning fast but still knows how to drive a smart endurance race.
With all the experience behind the wheel of the Lotus powered car, the Ford car may prove more reliable in the 24 hour race. Only Jon Field has any endurance racing experience in the No. 28 Lola-Ford. If he can keep his young hot shoes from the US-FF2000 series under control for 24 hours, the Lola Ford could be around to mount a serious challenge Sunday afternoon.