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  MG Lola EX264

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Country of origin:Great Britain
Introduced in:2005
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 13, 2005
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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. The first team to take delivery of the new car was the RML team, who in previous seasons had run an MG Lola EX257. Despite the financial problems MG continued supporting the team, which has resulted in the B05/40 being renamed MG Lola EX264. Chassis number HU03 is equipped with a Judd V8 engine, which should offer similar pace to the AER engined racers, but with better reliability.

After a difficult debut in the 2005 season opening Spa 1000 km race, the RML entered MG Lola EX264 showed its true colors in the Le Mans test day. At the end of the nine hour session, the beautifully livered car was second in class, less than 2 tenths of a second behind an AER engined B05/40.

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  Article Image gallery (14) Specifications