FNIPPON: Lola Cars announces contract for 2003

Lola announces contract to supply chassis for 2003 Formula Nippon World's leading racing car constructors win prestigious order from Japan's top formula. September 30, 2002, Huntingdon, England. Lola Cars International today announced the ...

Lola announces contract to supply chassis for 2003 Formula Nippon
World's leading racing car constructors win prestigious order from Japan's top formula.

September 30, 2002, Huntingdon, England.

Lola Cars International today announced the completion of a formal agreement between the company and Japan Racing Promotions (JRP), organisers of the Japanese Formula Nippon Championship,to supply Lola's 03/51 chassis for the Nippon series for the forthcoming 2003 and subsequent race seasons.

With strong grid numbers, excellent television and high sponsor involvement, Formula Nippon is again set to continue its impressive growth. The Formula has long been established as a very positive career option for race drivers headed towards Formula One. Of the current Grand Prix drivers, Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve, Ralf Schumacher (Nippon Champion1996), Eddie Irvine, Pedro de la Rosa (Nippon Champion 1997) and Mika Salo have all raced in Nippon, en route to Formula One. 

Formula Nippon began in April 1996 as the replacement of the former Japanese Formula 3000 Championship and has developed since this time with safety and performance always being the two most important criteria for the series. The 2003 Lola Nippon chassis, for the next generation of the Formula, is a new specification from Lola which upholds theethos of the Championship for highly competitive, safe, racing. The 2003 formula will run Honda Mugen engines, Bridgestone slick tyres and advanced wing and suspension packages.

The move into Formula Nippon marks a return to Japan for Lola, the company having enjoyed great success there during the 1980's and early 1990's, before Lola then re-focussed on the US Champ Car Series. Rick Gorne,international consultant for Lola Cars International, has been working with Katsu Homma, JRP director, to finalise the arrangements for the introduction of the Lola chassis. Gorne says, "Lola has all the credentials required of a chassis manufacturer for this Championship, with so much of the company's experience being highly relevant. Both the JRP and Lola know that it is important for F Nippon to have a chassis of the very highestinternational technical standards. The new Lola 03/51 will fulfil this need and ensure that the teams racing in F Nippon will be equipped with a sophisticated chassis that offers all the safety and performance advantages expected from the world's leading customer racecar company."

Katsu Homma, of Japan Racing Promotions outlined the decision to award Lola the new contract by saying, "Bringing Lola on board with the Formula Nippon Championship to deliver the next generation chassis is a new departure for us, but is a very welcome progression. It will allow us to maintain the cost controls required, while providing us with a high specification racecar. We're looking forward to working with Lola to introduce the new car next season, after an extensive testprogramme."

"This is an important new racecar for our portfolio," says Martin Birrane, Chairman, Lola Cars International. "It is a prestigious contract for one of the top class series in motorsport today. So many young drivers experience Formula Nippon on their way to the top and we're pleased that we're once more supplying this excellent Championship."

-lola-

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Ralf Schumacher , Pedro de la Rosa , Michael Schumacher , Jacques Villeneuve , Mika Salo