On Sunday 12 October, Huntingdon will be set for a taste of Monte Carlo-style action when a symbolic parade of racing cars takes to the streets of the Cambridgeshire town.
The parade will be a fitting hometown celebration to mark Lola Cars 50th Anniversary in 2008. Up to 16 race cars will take part in this landmark occasion, representing Lola’s iconic designs from the past half-century to the current day. Heading up the parade will be the all-new RML MG- Lola LMP2 Coupe dressed in its stunning red, white and blue livery, which will be competing in next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours race.
Historic cars in the parade will include: the Mk1, the first Lola sportcar built; the Lola T90 that Sir Jackie Stewart raced at the 1967 Indy 500; through to the sleek design of the Lola T70. Also lining up on the spectacular grid of cars that span the full 50 years of Lola’s existence will be the A1 Grand Prix Team Malaysia Lola that has won races in the World Cup of Motorsport.
Up and coming single seater ace, Fairuz Fauzy will drive this striking Lola design. Stars from half a century of Lola racing will be meeting up with old friends and their old mounts at the parade. These personalities will include Richard Attwood, Hugh Dibley, Jackie Epstein, Alain De Cadenet, Mike Blanchet, James Weaver, Julian Bailey, Anthony Reid and Peter Ashdown. Martin Birrane, the owner of Lola Cars, has invited Eric Broadley MBE, the marque’s founder, to be an integral part of the Golden celebration.
The 80-year-old Broadley will take the passenger seat of a Lola for the procession. Another notable passenger will be Jonathan Djanogly, MP for the Huntingdon constituency, who will be driven in Lola’s latest track-day car. At 12.00 noon, Saeed Akthar, Worshipful Mayor of Huntingdon, will be waving a Union Jack to officially start the parade from Lola’s headquarters in Huntingdon.
The unique collection of cars will then travel a designated two mile route via the local ring road, finishing with the cars forming a spectacular ‘paddock’ in Huntingdon’s historic market square.
Lola will also be hosting a public ‘Q & A’ session from the Town Hall balcony that overlooks the paddock area. The interviews will be supported by local dignitaries and an array of drivers associated with Lola throughout its fifty year history, including 500cc Motorcycle and 1964 Formula One World Champion John Surtees. Lola and the local authorities have been working together to make sure all the necessary provisions are put in place to make it a safe and enjoyable day for the local community and visitors. The parade route and paddock area are within easy walking distance from Huntingdon train station, with the event organisers encouraging visitors to maximise local transport facilities.
Martin Birrane commented, “Given the nature of motorsport, the majority of our work has to be done behind closed doors, so we wanted to create an event that enables the local community and motorsport fans to see Lola Cars at close quarters. “What better setting than our hometown to celebrate a memorable 50 years in motorsport. It will be a wonderful occasion to see such a colourful collection of Lola designs drive through the centre of Huntingdon, whilst reuniting drivers such as John Surtees with cars they have raced so many years ago.”
The town, famed for its Members of Parliament – Oliver Cromwell during the 16th century and John Major during the 19th – now has the yellow and blue racing colours of Lola flying the flag for Huntingdon and British motorsport.