Lola Cars International celebrated a memorable weekend with major sportscar victories on both sides of the Atlantic. In America Jon Field and Oliver Gavin (Lola B2K/10-Judd ) scored a thrilling win in the Sun Automotive 200 staged at the Phoenix...
Lola Cars International celebrated a memorable weekend with major sportscar victories on both sides of the Atlantic. In America Jon Field and Oliver Gavin (Lola B2K/10-Judd ) scored a thrilling win in the Sun Automotive 200 staged at the Phoenix International Raceway. Adding to the company's stateside delight, three of its Nissan-engined B2K/40s completed a 1-2-3 clean-sweep of the podium places in the competitive SR2 class. Emphasising the pace and stamina of the B2K/40, a similar Lola-Nissan also swept to a resounding class victory in Sunday's 1000km long-distance race at Monza in Italy.
Lola's landmark victory in the third round of the 2001 Grand American Road Racing series came in a race full of surprises. Arizona may be famous for its hot, dry climate but Saturday's three hour race was run in uncharacteristically wet weather -- indeed, at one point the conditions became so bad that officials were forced to stop the race and clear dangerous puddles of standing water with jet-driers. After a strong start the Intersport run Lola was holding a close second place when the race was halted. Then, following the restart, Gavin made the best use of the fine-handling chassis during the remaining 30-minutes not only to catch but also to pass the leading Riley & Scott driven by Butch Leitzinger. Gavin finally overtook the American in a daring move with just three laps remaining to post a famous victory.
Lola's victory in the SportsRacing Prototype II class at Phoenix was rather more comfortable with the two B2K/40s run by Porschehaus Racing and Archangel Motor Services dominating the category. Honours finally fell to the Porschehaus entry shared by Robert Julien/Bruno St Jacques who overcame the rain to finish one lap clear of the similar car driven by Mike Durand/Jeff Clinton. It was their first success of the 2001 season. The second Archangel car shared by Andy Lally and Paul Macey had set the pace during qualifying but the crew suffered gear selection problems before the start and eventually finished a distant third among the SRPII runners.
Meanwhile, in Europe, Sunday's second round of the FIA Sportscar Championship produced another champagne moment for Lola. Having come so close to victory in the opening round of the prestigious series two weeks ago in Spain, the Lola-Nissan B2K/40 run by SportsRacing Team Sweden made no mistakes at Monza. Drivers Thed Bjork and Larry Oberto not only dominated SR2 to cross the chequered flag five laps clear of their closest adversary but they also finished a fine fifth in the overall results.
"The car ran really well and it was fantastic in the wet," said Oliver Gavin of the Lola Judd B2K/10.
"It has been a great weekend for our customers," said a delighted David Bowes, Managing Director of Lola Cars International Limited. "We have seen our cars score significant SR2 victories both in Europe and America. What's more we have witnessed an outright win for our SR1 chassis in the States. I congratulate all our teams and drivers and I'm confident that they will all enjoy further successes in the coming months."