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  Lola B98/10      

  Article Image gallery (23) B9810-HU02 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:1998 - 1999
Numbers built:8 (All engines)
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 06, 2019
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIn the years after the demise of Group C, Lola focussed on single seater racing cars. Towards the end of the 1990s, sports car racing once again picked up momentum with open prototypes eligible for major races and championships on both sides of the Atlantic. Lola recognised the opportunity and set about the company's first top level sports car since 1992. The brief for the design was to create a racing car aimed at privateers that was relatively easy to run and could adopt a wide variety of engines.

Dubbed the B98/10, the new Lola prototype racer was conventional in design. It was built around a carbon-fibre composite monocoque with push-rod actuated suspension on all four corners. In standard trim, the chassis was designed to accept a Roush-tuned Ford small block V8 but kits were made available to fit other power units. Regardless of the engine choice, a paddle-operated Hewland gearbox was fitted. The most unusual part of the B98/10 design was the aerodynamics package. Intended to reduce drag, the B98/10 did not have conventional radiator intakes but instead had the air from the front diffuser fed into the radiators from the underside of the car.

The first B98/10 was ready late in 1998 when it was tested by Dyson Racing at Road Atlanta. This car was then entered in the 1999 Daytona 24 Hours by Intersport Racing. It was joined by Konrad's B98/10, which was powered by a twin-turbo Lotus V8. Other engines used for the subsequent cars built included a BMW V12 and Judd V10. The B98/10s faced stiff competition, particularly at Le Mans, with the likes of BMW, Audi and Toyota all fielding factory cars in the two prototype classes.

Lola eventually built eight B98/10s before offering an improved B2K/10 for the 2000 season. Much work focused on re-routing the radiator intakes as the original configuration worked on paper only. The main flaw that needing fixing was the cooling layout. With the air fed from underneath the car, the B98/10's configuration was very sensitive to the track temperatures. In order to cool the engine sufficiently, the ride height needed increasing during hot conditions, which had in turn had adverse effects on the handling.

The B98/10 did pave the way for Lola's return to sports car racing, which would remain the company's bread and butter until the company's sad demise in the early 2010s.

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  Article Image gallery (23) B9810-HU02 Specifications