F3

Lola and Dome announce joint venture

LOLA AND DOME JOIN FORCES FOR ALL-NEW FORMULA 3 CAR Huntingdon, 25th June 2002 - Huntingdon, UK based Lola Cars International and leading Japanese race carmanufacturer, Dome, announce today a joint venture to design and build Formula 3 single ...

LOLA AND DOME JOIN FORCES FOR ALL-NEW FORMULA 3 CAR

Huntingdon, 25th June 2002 - Huntingdon, UK based Lola Cars International and leading Japanese race carmanufacturer, Dome, announce today a joint venture to design and build Formula 3 single seater race cars for the European and Asia Pacific markets. In an historic agreement the two companies - which successfully compete head-to-head within many international race series - have finalised plans to enter into F3 for the 2003 season, aiming to compete in Formula 3 in the UK, German, French and Japanese Series for this increasingly popular category of motorsport.

Design for the Lola-Dome 2003 F3 car will principally be undertaken at Dome Co., Ltd headquarters in Japan, in collaboration with a visiting team of on-site Lola engineers, as well as items of detail design being carried out at Lola's Huntingdon base in the UK. In addition, Dome Co.,Ltd's modern 50% scale wind tunnel facility will be used for aerodynamic development of the all-new car. Carbon composite chassis production and mechanical elements manufacturing will be divided between the build facilitiesof the two companies. 

Sales of the new chassis will be undertaken directly by the two companies, with Dome Co., Ltd the principal seller within the Asia Pacific Region and Lola the principal seller for the European territories and track support provided on both continents. Rick Gorne, Senior Consultant to Lola Cars, has been instrumental in the joint venture and says; "The combination of two prominent racecar manufacturers with such a wealthof expertise in this field is set to shake up the F3 category. The Lola-Dome car will be greeted with strong interest from many leading teams and we're confident that it will have a major impact on the grids for 2003."

Lola Cars, with a 45 year history of producing winning racing cars, is well placed to take on this new joint venture. The company has an enviable record of success with single seater racecars produced for the prestigious US based ChampCar Series,international and national F3000 series, in addition to many winning years with sportscars. In 2001, the company's cars won three Sports Car Championships; FIA Sports Car (SR2 class), American Le Mans Series (675 class) and Grand-Am (SR2 class).

David Bowes, Managing Director, Lola Cars International, explains the decision to build the new car saying, "This move into Formula 3 racecar production with Dome is a significant one, not only for our company but also for theindustry. Sharing our capabilities and facilities will optimise performance, costs and service to benefit our customers and the F3 category. I look forward to seeing the first car out on track in early November."

Based in Yase, Kyoto, Dome was formed in 1975 and quickly became one of the leading Japanese sportscar teams, regularly participating at Le Mans and in domestic race series including the All Japan F3000 Championship. While competing in this Series, the companystarted development of its own F3000 chassis and soon started racing in the F3000 championships with its own Dome car. In 1994 the car won the Championship.

In 1998 Dome were contracted by Honda to develop a formula car for an oval course and a small-sized formula car for a racing school and Honda's one-make championship series. This small formula car became the first mass production racing car for Dome, opening the door into yet another new area of business. With a new 50% scale wind tunnel model, carboncomposite development and manufacture facilities, Dome is now well established as a racing constructor in the Asia Pacific basin.

Dome Cars' UK Managing Director, Mr Tadashi Sasaki says of this new venture; "We are delighted and privileged to be joining with Lola Cars in this unique agreement. We have enormous respect for the company and its achievements over the past five decades. Dome has unrivalled expertise within the Asia Pacific F3 marketplace which, added to Lola's vast experience, will create a powerful force not only in our home territory, but also on a global level. I am looking forward to F3 2003."

The joint venture agreement will be for an initial two-year period, until the end of the current F3 technical regulations, with an option for a further three years.

-lola-

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Series F3
Drivers Tadashi Sasaki