Seven Lola LMP sportscars will head to the world famous Autodromo Di Monza near Milan this weekend for the traditional spring date of the Monza 1000kms and the second round of the 2008 Le Mans Series.
Lola customers scored exceptional debut results for the all-new LMP1 and LMP2 Coupes at Barcelona earlier this month. Both the Charouz Racing System Lola LMP1 Coupe and the Speedy Racing Team Sebah LMP2 entries will be looking to further develop its racing programme this weekend at the low downforce spec 3.6 mile Italian track. Jan Charouz, who shares the Aston Martin powered Lola B08/60 LMP1 car with team mate Stefan Mucke is looking forward to the race this weekend and said: “I like Monza a lot. It was very exciting when I drove there with Stefan last year.
It was the first race of the season and we were the quickest petrol car. We should aim for at least the same result again this year.” The LMP2 Lola Coupe of Speedy Racing Team Sebah were delighted with its second place in Spain in the Judd powered Lola B08/80 Huntingdon built sportscar.
The team, managed by Hugh and Bart Hayden, has had minimal testing ahead of the season but that did not stop them out racing two of the three Porsche entered cars at Barcelona. They are confident that more stellar results with the Lola-Judd will come this weekend when Xavier Pompidou, Andrea Belicchi and Steve Zacchia take to the wheel at Monza. Italian driver Andrea Belicchi, who will drive in his home race this weekend, said: “I am very happy and proud to drive a prototype like the Lola B0/80 on a legendary circuit like Monza. For me it means a lot, Monza is an unmissable venue for an Italian driver. I hope that we will be able to produce a great result there in front of the fans.” Chamberlain Synergy’s Lola B07/10-AER will miss the Monza event but are scheduled to return to the series at Spa next month.
RML scored valuable points with 4th place at Barcelona three weeks ago, and the reigning champions are hoping to score more points and defend their title at the scenic Parco Nazionale this weekend. Prior to the Italian event Mike Newton and Tommy Erdos have been testing at Silverstone to further develop the MG-AER power unit. The turbo powered engine will truly show its hand on the flat out straights of Monza.
Quifel-ASM proved that they are still among the quickest LMP2 entries with some blistering practice and qualifying pace in the opening round at Barcelona. The Antonio Simoes led Portuguese team failed to score in the first round after technical problems but the Dunlop shod car in the hands of former GP2 racer Olivier Pla has the capability to run at the front of the LMP2 pack.
The Kruse-Schiller Lola-Mazda entered car, driven by Hideki Noda and Jean De Pourtales, undertook its first race at Barcelona and despite a complete lack of testing showed that in the coming races they could challenge at the front of the LMP2 field. "The Lola is great to drive and the Mazda engine is really strong,” said De Pourtales. “Last year I scored a 5th place in Monza, it would be great to match or better that result." The Monza 1000kms starts at 11.50BST on Sunday 27th April with qualifying taking place on Saturday 26th. The majority of the race will be shown live on Motors TV.