2008 LOLA TURNS BACK THE CLOCK TO RECREATE HISTORY AT BRANDS HATCH
To help mark Lola Car's golden anniversary, an important part of the marque's history was recreated at Brands Hatch on Saturday 24 March 2008, when the first Lola ever produced lapped the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in under 60 seconds to emulate the feat first set 50 years ago. On a Bank Holiday weekend in 1958, Eric Broadley took his homemade Lola Mk1 around the Kent circuit in just under a minute and in so doing he made it the first sportscar to break the 60 second barrier at Brands Hatch. On the same day, half a century ago, the ambitious and budding engineer also went on to win a heat of the Rochester Trophy.
50 years on at the Masters Historic Festival, Lola organised for respected historic preparation expert Rick Hall to drive the very same car and emulate the sub one minute lap. Hall set a best time of 59.452s - his fastest lap of the day. After completing the historic laps, Rick Hall said: It was a real pleasure to recreate a symbolic part of Lola's history. The car is always a joy to drive and the lap was a comfortable one for me. I am sure that Eric (Broadley) will enjoy seeing his pride and joy from 50 years ago still lapping the Brands Indy circuit in under 60 seconds. It was a great way to kick off their golden anniversary celebrations."
Lola Group Executive Chairman, Martin Birrane was present to witness the attempt and remarked: "Lola has seen incredible change throughout the last half century. However, one thing that has remained the same is our presence on both the International and National stage. It was an emotional event today to recreate Eric's lap set 50 years ago. He really is one of my heroes for what he achieved with Lola for so many years.
"There are some incredible parallels to consider too," continued Birrane. "Back in 1958 this little 1100cc sportscar was shaking up the establishment and an evolution of the car went on to race at Le Mans in 1960 with Peter Ashdown and Charles Voegele. The Lola factory is now getting ready for seven Lola sportscars to take on the very same race. It's a really fascinating story."
As well as recreating the sub-one minute lap record, Lola also celebrated taking a clean sweep on the podium in both of the aptly named Lola Trophy World Sportscar Masters races, beating the likes of Chevron, Porsche and McLaren. The historic races hosted at Brands Hatch were held on Sunday 25 March and Monday 26 March, with Scotsman Andrew Smith taking the chequered flag for both races, driving his T70 MkIIIB continuation car.