CHAMPCAR/CART: Latest Lola news 2000-06-05

The new Lola B2K/40 SR2 sportscar scored its second victory in seven days in the Grand American Road Racing championship yesterday (Sunday 4 June). The Archangel Motorsport Services Nissan Lola, driven by Larry Oberto and Ryan Hampton, secured a...

The new Lola B2K/40 SR2 sportscar scored its second victory in seven days in the Grand American Road Racing championship yesterday (Sunday 4 June). The Archangel Motorsport Services Nissan Lola, driven by Larry Oberto and Ryan Hampton, secured a lights-to-flag win in the US Road Racing Classic event, held at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Dublin, Ohio.

For the entire 111 laps (250 miles), the Lola of Oberto and Hampton never missed a beat and the drivers were able to control the SRII class from the best position possible, the front. It was a repeat of their performance just seven days earlier at Lime Rock Park, Connecticut, USA, when the pair again claimed pole position and secured victory.

Oberto said: "It feels really good. All the guys at Archangel have been fantastic. We've done no testing, other than the limited sessions we get during race weekends. Every time, the guys keep making positive developments, and the car keeps getting better and better."

Lola also saw great performances from its contingent of SR1 sportscars competing in the US Road Racing Classic. Britons Andy Wallace (racing with American Scott Schubot) and Oliver Gavin (co-driver to US star Jon Field) lined up second and sixth on the grid respectively. Wallace's second place was all the more impressive as he drove the car for the first time on the morning of qualifying day (Saturday). Wallace and Schubot piloted their Ford-powered B2K/10 excellently, running in second position for much of the race. They dropped to third, however, in the final round of scheduled pit-stops and, with Schubot at the wheel, remained there to the end, crossing the line just 15 second behind the winner. The well-deserved podium finish follows Schubot's fine fifth in last week's Lime Rock race.

The B98/10 of Field and Gavin ran as high as fourth in the early stages and was very competitive against the newer SR1 machinery. Field was looking to repeat his impressive Lime Rock performance, where he ran second for two-thirds of the race, but despite putting the leading trio under pressure, a technical problem forced the year-old car into retirement.

In the CART FedEX Championship Series, meanwhile, Lola star Juan Montoya's strange run continues. The Colombian, driving a Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota-powered Lola Champ Car, claimed his third pole position of the season on Saturday, for round six of the championship held on the one-mile oval at Milwaukee, Wisconsin - only for the race to be cancelled, again!

Every time Montoya has set the fastest time in qualifying, the weather has intervened and put back the main event. His first number one grid position in the Lola was at Nazareth, Pennsylvania, in April, but a freak snowstorm forced organisers to re-schedule the race to last week (he eventually finished fourth).

Montoya then claimed pole for the round five in Japan, at Motegi (May 13), but this time torrential rain caused the race's postponement for a day. Although Montoya led for much of the race when it eventually got underway, it was fellow Lola driver Michael Andretti who took the victory. And yesterday the rain struck again, leaving the Lola pole-sitter frustrated once more.

The Milwaukee Miller Lite 225 event has been re-scheduled for today (Monday) and is due to start - weather permitting - at 4pm BST (11am ET). Montoya will be hoping for third postponement lucky as he looks to turn his pole advantage into a win.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am , IndyCar
Drivers Andy Wallace , Michael Andretti , Jon Field , Oliver Gavin , Ryan Hampton , Larry Oberto , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing