A1 Team Malaysia joined a cavalcade of Lola racing cars to mark the company's 50th anniversary on Sunday, with the team's original A1GP car taking part in a parade on the streets of Huntingdon, the Cambridgeshire town which is home to the leading...
A1 Team Malaysia joined a cavalcade of Lola racing cars to mark the company's 50th anniversary on Sunday, with the team's original A1GP car taking part in a parade on the streets of Huntingdon, the Cambridgeshire town which is home to the leading British race car manufacturers.
16 race cars took part in the event, representing Lola's iconic designs from the past half-century to the current day. Heading up the parade was the all-new RML MG-Lola LMP2 Coupe sports car dressed in its stunning red, white and blue livery, which will be competing in next year's Le Mans 24 Hours race, followed by the 500 bhp Lola A1GP race car. Historic cars in the parade included the Mk1, the first Lola sport car built; the Lola T92 that Sir Jackie Stewart raced at the 1967 Indy 500; through to the sleek design of the Lola T70.
Fairuz Fauzy drove the striking Malaysian A1GP car in its famous yellow livery, delighting the crowds with the revs of the Zytek engine and thrilling the spectators with his smoking tyres. Around 10,000 motorsport fans filled the streets for the parade and enjoyed a unique spectacle.
Fauzy said of the experience, "I've never driven a race car through the streets of a town, so it was a first for me. There were thousands of spectators lining the road so I had to be very careful; they were so close to me. The support for the event was phenomenal, and it was a privilege to be part of such an historic event. Lola has designed and built some of the best racing cars and played an important role in the history of motorsport over the last 50 years. I'm sure that they will continue to introduce new and innovative models which drivers like myself can enjoy racing."
The event began at the home of the original A1GP car. At mid day, Saeed Akthar, Worshipful Mayor of Huntingdon, waved a Union Jack flag to officially start the parade from Lola's headquarters in Huntingdon. The unique collection of cars then travelled a designated two mile route via the local ring roads, finishing with the cars forming a spectacular 'paddock' in Huntingdon's historic market square. The event also provided the public with a chance to get up close to some unique cars and collect the autographs of Fairuz, Surtees and other motorsport personalities.
Martin Birrane, owner of Lola Cars commented, "Given the nature of motorsport, the majority of our work has to be done behind closed doors, so we wanted to create an event that enabled the local community and motorsport fans to see Lola Cars at close quarters. What better setting than our hometown to celebrate a memorable 50 years in motorsport. It was a wonderful occasion - to see such a colourful collection of Lola designs drive through the centre of Huntingdon, whilst reuniting drivers such as John Surtees with cars they had raced so many years ago."