CHAMPCAR/CART: Lola on Form on Both Sides of the Atlantic

The resurgence of leading British race car manufacturer Lola Cars International Ltd continued apace at the weekend with fine performances on both sides of the Atlantic. In Brazil yesterday (Sunday, April 30), Target Chip Ganassi Racing's ...

The resurgence of leading British race car manufacturer Lola Cars International Ltd continued apace at the weekend with fine performances on both sides of the Atlantic.

In Brazil yesterday (Sunday, April 30), Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Jimmy Vasser scored his second successive podium placing in the CART FedEx Championship Series in his Toyota-powered Lola Champ Car. The US star recorded an excellent second place in Round 4, in Rio De Janeiro, crossing the line less than one second behind winner Adrian Fernandez.

In the closing laps Vasser could have challenged for the lead, but the last four tours on the Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway were run under yellow flags with no overtaking allowed, so Vasser had to settle for second.

Lola also led the race twice, first with Vasser then with Michael Andretti, the American racing the Newman/Haas Ford-powered car. Andretti eventually finished ninth after being caught up in the aftermath of a rival's spin.

Coupled with Vasser's fourth in Round 1 and third place in Round 3, Sunday's result - his best at the Rio track - puts him second in the championship, just six points behind leader Paul Tracy of Canada.

Meanwhile in France during the weekend, the impressive new Lola SR1 sportscar set a blistering pace in testing for June's Le Mans 24 Hours race.

The Olive Garden-backed Team Rafanelli Lola was the fastest privately-entered car and fourth quickest overall, according to unofficial timings released by works team Audi, the only outfit to beat the Lola's lap times.

In the hands of sportscar aces Mimmo Schiattarella, of Italy, and Belgian Dider De Radigues, the Lola B2K/10 circuited the famous Le Mans track in a best time of 3m38.807s, just two seconds behind the fastest Audi.

Lola's Managing Director David Bowes said: "The weekend's results were very satisfying. We're closing in on a win in Champ Cars and the performance of the SR1 at Le Mans was extremely encouraging."

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Le Mans
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Paul Tracy , Emerson Fittipaldi , Mimmo Schiattarella , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing