* First petrol powered car is Rebellion Lola-Toyota at world's toughest motor race* Podium finish in LMP2 for Level 5 Motorsport Lola-HPD* Bullet proof reliability for Lola customers* Toyota name returns to Le Mans with excellent finish* 25th podium finish for a Lola sports car at Le Mans
Lola is celebrating a sensational result at last weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours. The UK based race car manufacturer and provider of services to the motorsport and automotive sectors saw three of its designed and built Le Mans Prototype sports cars finish in the top ten at the world's toughest motor race. Lola were also the first petrol powered car to take the chequered flag, while in LMP2 the Lola Coupe took a fine podium position.
Commenting on the successful weekend at Le Mans, Executive Chairman, Martin Birrane said: "This was a truly classic Le Mans 24 Hours for many reasons, most notably the fact that the attrition rate was so high and Lola managed to claim three top ten positions.
"Lola continues to deliver robust cars and once again we had a faultless Le Mans 24 Hours. I am delighted that our customers maximised their opportunities despite the imbalance within the current prototype regulations."
Managing Director of Lola Cars International Ltd, Robin Brundle said: "This is an extremely proud time for all of us at Lola. The results are just reward for our tireless pursuit of performance. It is an honour to work with our engine suppliers and professional customer teams."
Lola took the unofficial 'petrol class' honours with the Rebellion Racing team who finished a superb 6th in the 56 car field with their Lola-Toyota. The only entries to finish ahead of Lola in the final results were the diesel-powered Audi and Peugeot LMP cars.
Consolidating the excellent performance of Lola's high-end technological design, research and engineering programmes, Lola also showed its renowned versatility, as each of the three cars that finished the gruelling event had different power plants; TMG (Toyota Motorsport GmbH), Aston Martin and HPD (Honda Performance Development).
In a remarkable show of reliability, the Lola entries suffered no major time loss during the race for mechanical problems, something that is almost unheard of at the gruelling Le Mans 24 Hours. With only 50% of the starters finishing the race, the 2011 edition of the classic endurance race was the toughest in recent memory. The two Lola entries that did not finish the race both retired due to driver error incidents.
Taking the flag at 15.00 hrs local time, the Rebellion Racing Lola B10/65, driven by Neel Jani, Nicolas Prost and Jeroen Bleekemolen, covered 338 laps of the tortuous 8.46 mile circuit. This in itself was a ringing testament to the skill and vision of Lola's engineers who detail and create every aspect of the Lola LMP cars. It has been this trust in the reputation and values of the Lola brand that led Toyota to choose the company to become its preferred constructor for its return to Le Mans for the first time since 1999.
Completing the hard fought and well deserved results for Lola LMP cars were the Kronos Racing and Level 5 Motorsports teams. Kronos Racing (run under the Marc VDS operation for this weekend) capped a faultless performance and finished in 7th place. Vanina Ickx, daughter of the legendary Jacky scored the best result for a female racer since 1983. Maxime Martin and Bas Leinders completed the all-Belgian driving team for the exceptional result.
Level 5 Motorsports scored a hugely merited podium place in the LMP2 class while also rounding out the top 10 overall. It was the 25th podium appearance for a Lola sports car at Le Mans.
On their debut race at Le Mans, the American Level 5 Motorsport completed the LMP2 podium after a brilliant effort by team founder Scott Tucker, Joao Barbosa and Christophe Bouchut to take the chequered flag in the Honda powered Lola LMP2 Coupe. The team, many of whom were new to the race, almost clinched 2nd position towards the end of the event, such was the consistent pace of the black Lola-HPD LMP2 Coupe and the excellent team work by the Level 5 crew.
In its 53rd year of business, Lola is one of the longest established and most successful constructors of racing cars in the world, keeping itself at the forefront of design and technology by investing in commercially available state-of-the-art facilities including Computational Fluid Dynamics, Finite Element Analysis, a 50% scale wind tunnel and a 7 post aerodynamic suspension and chassis set up rig. The company is equipped and has the skills to carry out any major motorsport programme for a manufacturer from F1 through every category of motorsport.
Having built more customer racing cars than any other constructor in the history of motorsport, Lola now also services the aerospace, marine, automotive, defence and communications industries with a complete design and build capability in advanced carbon composites.