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  Lola B06/10 AER

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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:2006
Designed by:Julian Sole
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:April 03, 2006
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFounded in 1958 by Eric Broadley, Lola has been at the forefront of motorracing throughout its history. Lola products have won in almost any form of road racing, but this is often forgotten because the chassis often get rebadged to who ever commissioned the racer. One of the most recent examples was the MG EX257, which was known internally at as the Lola B01/60. Like many of the manufacturer's sportscar designs it proved very quick, but fragile. Since its launch in 2001 a number of LMP675 class victories were scored, and in its final year it even successfully took on the Audi R8, and scored the overall victory in a round of the 2005 ALMS championship.

At the end of the 2005 season, the complete range of Lola prototype racers would be obsolete because of extensive rule changes. Since 2004 the prototype classes are divided in LMP1 and LMP2, but up until 2005 the old LMP675 and LMP900 cars were still eligible to run in the LMP1 class. The moderate-budget LMP2 class was open only to new cars, and leading French chassis manufacturer Courage was the first to launch an LMP2 car at the start of the 2004 season. Lola followed suit in 2005 with the B05/40, designed to accept a number of engine variants.

Compared to the relatively straightforward Courage, the Lola LMP2 car looks quite different with a long front overhang and a very short rear end. This new design direction is a result of the aerodynamic restrictions set by the sport's governing bodies to prevent the racers from flipping. Another instantly noticeable change is the symmetrical roll-over structure, increasing the impression of the racers being proper two-seaters. Throughout the B05/40's design process Lola have not only concentrated on getting the optimum performance, but also kept a close eye restricting the production and running costs.

Soon after the new car's launch, Lola had already secured six orders for the B05/40. Powered by a variety engines, the LMP2 racers quickly showed good form and scored multiple class victories including the 'important one' at Le Mans for the Judd engined RML car. While busy building the B05/40, Lola was already hard at work designing a LMP1 car to replace the aging B01/60, which would become virtually obsolete in 2006 because of rule changes.

Sharing much of its design with the B05/40, the new B06/10 was strengthened in various places to handle the heavier loads caused by the increased weight and powere of the LMP1 class. The engine found under the big carbon fiber rear deck was also brand new and possibly even bigger news than the car itself. With eight cylinders, a displacement of 3.6 litres, twin Turbos and direct Fuel Injection, the new Advance Engined Research (AER) 75 degree shares many characteristics with Audi's record breaking powerplant used in the R8. A new design from the ground up, its the most ambitious engine to hit sportscar racing in recent years.

The first car was completed in time to be tested in the official Sebring 12 Hours test by the Dyson Racing team, who will enter two cars in the 2006 ALMS championship. The debut was somewhat overshadowed by the appearance of Audi's all new diesel engined R10. In the Sebring race, the two cars showed a good pace, but various minor problems threw the cars back. The surviving car managed to finish second in class. Back in Europe Chamberlain Synergy took delivery of the third car to compete in the Le Mans Series (LMS) and at Le Mans.

Seen here is the Chamberlain Synergy B06/10 in action at the official LMS test at Paul Ricard late in March 2006. Still sorting out the setup, the pace improved throughout the two day test and more importantly the all new and complicated engine did not once act up. It was not only very reliable, but also proved to be very powerful, propelling the B06/10 to the highest top speed of the weekend; 315 km/h on the long straight.

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  Article Image gallery (65) Specifications