Lola Cars International Ltd's SR1 and SR2 category sportscars proved to be the class of the field during the weekend's third round of the Grand American Road Racing Association Championship, in Miami, USA. Two brand new machines - one delivered...
Lola Cars International Ltd's SR1 and SR2 category sportscars proved to be the class of the field during the weekend's third round of the Grand American Road Racing Association Championship, in Miami, USA. Two brand new machines - one delivered two days before the race - set the pace all weekend, with the SR1 B2K/10 finishing fourth and the SR2 B2K/40 winning its class and coming home seventh overall.
The most impressive performance was by the Philip Creighton Motorsport-run B2K/10, driven by American Scott Schubert and Formula One test driver Oliver Gavin. Gavin claimed pole position in Saturday's qualifying, an incredible feat considering Friday's test session at the Homestead-Miami Speedway was the first time the car had turned a wheel in anger.
Unfortunately a technical hitch forced the car to start yesterday's race in 21st position, but by the end of the first lap Gavin had scythed through the field into seventh. This blistering pace saw it move through the pack with ease, eventually taking third position by lap seven and consistently lapping half a second faster than its more developed rivals.
Contact with the second-placed Riley & Scott of Baldwin/Hoerr forced the Lola into the pits with a puncture, but once back out on the track the car again set the pace, moving back into third place to challenge the Weaver/Paul Jr Riley & Scott for second. It was during this tussle, eight laps from the finish, that a slower GT-class car tripped-up the Lola resulting in another unscheduled visit to the pits. Gavin returned to the track in fourth and remained there to the end of the 250-mile race.
Lola was not to be denied in the SR2 category, however, with three A.E.R. Nissan V6-powered B2K/40s enjoying a class battle for first place for much of the race. The Archangel Motorsports team-run B2K/40 driven by Ryan Hampton and Larry Oberto - also delivered only last week - eventually took the honours ahead of the similar TRP-run car. A 1-2-3 finish was thwarted with only a few laps remaining when the Schumacher Racing-run machine suffered a slight fuel injector problem causing it to drop to fourth.
John Field, driving a last year's Lola SR1 B98/10 run by Intersport, also put in a fine performance finishing sixth overall. The team is due to take delivery of a new B2K/10 within the next month.
Lola Managing Director David Bowes said: "Both the SR1 and SR2 were the fastest cars for most of the weekend and were 100 per cent reliable. Considering they are new cars at a very early stage of developemnt, the results are very impressive."
The championship's next round is the Dodge Dealer's Grand Prix, Lime Rock Park, Connecticut (May 26-29).