HUNTINGTON, England (December 2, 2002) - When last week's CART 2002 Awards Banquet provided another key sponsorship announcement for the 2003 season as Ford threw its marketing might behind the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, manufacturers saw enough promise to commit even more resources to the series for the upcoming seasons.
Lola Cars International Ltd. took up the challenge on Monday as Lola Chairman Martin Birrane announced that his company - under the leadership of newly-appointed Managing Director Rupert Manwaring - would build 10 new Champ Car chassis to meet the expected demand for the 2003 campaign.
Lola had one of its most successful Champ Car seasons ever in 2002 with the B2/00 chassis, winning 16 of 19 races en route to claiming the CART Constructor's Championship for the first time since 1993. With the current chassis freeze that will contain costs while the 2005 model is being designed, Lola has announced the construction of 10 new chassis to go on the market - five of which have already been allocated to CART teams.
"The very rapid strengthening of the CART series in the last few weeks has been extremely encouraging for Lola Cars," said Birrane. "With the renewed confidence that has been brought about by the involvement of Ford and Bridgestone, Lola Cars will be laying down 10 more B2/00's for use in the 2003 series. Chris Pook has done some excellent work in the last year and the solid base that has been created, will, I believe, consolidate Champ Cars as the truest test of a car, engine and driver anywhere in racing."
The announcement came in conjunction with the appointment of Formula 1 veteran Manwaring, who joins Lola Cars after many successful years in F1 and in CART. He most recently served with the European Minardi F1 squad and has worked with power teams such as Brabham, Lotus and Tyrrell in F1 as well as the Kraco team in CART.
"I am looking forward to playing my part in extending Lola's heritage and taking the business into the future," Manwaring said. "Having seen the impressive workforce and facilities at Lola, I believe we have the resources we need to achieve even greater success in our existing markets and to succeed in new areas of motorsport and even beyond."
More Lola, see:
Lola Cars to build ten more chassis