Behind the scenes at Lola


To preview the Silverstone 1000Kms this weekend Lola asked various journalists and competition winners to its Huntingdon-based headquarters yesterday. A forum session – hosted by John Hindhaugh of Radio Le Mans – started the day, with a panel consisting of Lola managing director Robin Brundle, someone called Damien Smith, RML Lola Coupé driver Thomas Erdos and new Team Drayson Racing recruit Rob Bell.


A far cry from the ultra-modern facility that Lola operate in now

A tour of the facility followed, but the most interesting part was seeing the 2010 Lola Formula 1 car.


It’s never been viewed by the outside world, but let me tell you, this wind tunnel model is very, very real. As was Lola’s bid to be on the F1 grid. Whatever you may think about the teams that did get entries, the fact that the British manufacturer didn’t – having invested more than half a million pounds on the project and brought in a team that included former Jordan marketing manager Mark Gallagher – must have been a hard pill to swallow.


From its continuation T70s to the LMP cars, the company certainly has its hands full, but it’s no secret that without its work on advanced composites to the aerospace, defence, communications, automotive and marine sectors, Lola would struggle to make a profit from just building race cars. It is really one of the only two major chassis builders left in the world alongside Dallara in Italy, which of course can’t go down too badly with Lola, but the great news is that the company is flourishing.


It has almost sealed both the manufacturer and drivers’ titles in the Le Mans Series with the Aston Martin Lola and drivers Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mücke (above), but this weekend we will once again see one of the great British success stories on track at Silverstone. And that alone is enough for me to head up to Northamptonshire.


You may also like