Lola Cars starts the 2001 season as the leading constructor with an unrivalled total of 97 victories in the CART Champ Car Championship. Following last year's successes that saw four of six Lola chassis winning seven of 20 rounds, no fewer than 11...
Lola Cars starts the 2001 season as the leading constructor with an unrivalled total of 97 victories in the CART Champ Car Championship. Following last year's successes that saw four of six Lola chassis winning seven of 20 rounds, no fewer than 11 Lola's will line-up on the starting grid for next Sunday's opening encounter of the 2001 series (11 March). This year's Fedex Championship commences at the exciting new Monterrey road circuit in Mexico. The expanded programme features 20 further rounds staged throughout North America as well as in Australia, Britain, Germany and Japan. The two European rounds are exciting new additions to the CART calendar.
Lola's 11-car attack is spearheaded by two-car entries from front-running Newman/Haas, Target/Chip Ganassi, Team Rahal and Dale Coyne Racing teams. At Newman/Haas, Christian Fittipaldi (Brazil) is joined by Cristiano da Matta (Brazil) -- both were CART race winners in 2000. With its former champions moving on since the end of the 2000 campaign -- Juan Montoya to the BMW WilliamsF1 Team and Jimmy Vasser to Patrick Racing -- there are now two new faces at Target/Chip Ganassi where Bruno Junqueira (Brazil) lines-up alongside Nicolas Minassian (France). The pair are joining forces after finishing first and second in the 2000 FIA Formula 3000 Championship, a series which exclusively features Lola chassis. Team Rahal, a new addition to the Lola fold in 2001, retains the services of Max Papis (Italy) and 2000 'CART Rookie of the Year' Kenny Brack (Sweden) while Dale Coyne Racing recently announced its driver line-up of Luiz Garcia (Brazil) and Michael Krumm (Germany).
Three single-car entries complete Lola's multi-national 2001 line-up: Arciero Brooke Racing, Herdez Bettenhausen and Sigma Autosport. Their respective drivers are Max Wilson (Brazil), Michel Jourdain Jr (Mexico) and Oriol Servia (Spain).
In total the 2001 Lola driver line-up is comprised of seven different nationalities. Five Brazilians lead the way and one North American driver plus five Europeans join them -- an indication of renewed interest in CART from Europe. It is regrettable that there is no American in a Lola this season as USA drivers have accumulated 76 of Lola's 97 CART Champ Car victories and, to date, no driver from France, Germany, Italy, Spain or Sweden has won a Champ Car race in a Lola. Of the teams relying on Lola's famed chassis technology, four are competing with Ford engines: Dale Coyne Racing, Herdez Bettenhausen, Sigma Autosport and Team Rahal. Newman/Haas and Target/Chip Ganassi are Toyota powered while Arciero Brooke Racing is relying on Phoenix power, an updated version of last year's Mercedes engine.
"We are delighted to see so many top teams and drivers representing Lola in 2001," says Daniel Partel, President of Lola Cars International Inc. "Lola enjoyed considerable success in 2000 but we have geared up our involvement in the series over the winter months and we are now setting ourselves considerably higher targets for 2001."