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Lola Produces Prototypes Under New 2011 Regulations

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On: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 2:34PM | By: John Welch

Lola Produces Prototypes Under New 2011 Regulations

I might have written a little piece on the ALMS Northeast Grand Prix last weekend. In that article I may have stated that Lola will no longer build Coupes. I was wrong; they will no longer build short wheelbase coupes, like the Dyson Mazda, but they will produce a long wheelbase Coupe; think Drayson-Judd. Also, try not to confuse Dyson with Drayson, annoyingly similar team names, I know.

The new Lola Coupe, the B11/80, will feature the same ACO mandated "blow-over" fin as the B11/40 open top prototype. This fin is intended to interrupt a car's momentum if it gets up on two wheels and is trying to turn over, possibly crushing the driver. These regulations were spurred by an accident at Monza in 2008. Stéphane Ortelli's Courage is seen here nearly beheading Allan McNish as it flips and rolls, causing a broken ankle for Ortelli and Gawdawful signage space on the backs of post-2010 LMPs. Funny thing is, this sort of incident has NOT happened since. Scott Sharp's crash at Petit Le Mans last year was caused by hitting an errant Porsche 911 while cresting a blind hill at 140 mph, so it doesn't count. Before going into the new Lola Coupes, I offer video of Ortelli and Sharp, flippity flipping their prototypes into oblivion, inside yon post . . .

Stephan Ortelli's bad day . ..
. . . followed by Scott Sharp's equally bad day.
If you click on the image gallery, I was clearly incorrect about Lola no longer producing Coupes. They will, and the new designation for their 2011 LMP Coupe will be B11/80. The open top car, which seems to be aimed at LMP2 though the ALMS will not have such a class next year, (neither will the Le Mans24) will be designated B11/40. Both cars are stunning in the usual Lola fashion, much like Porsche using simplicity to imply beauty, and neither car appears to ba all that disimilar from Lolas being raced this season. Upon closer inspection, however, some lines and aero devices have been smoothed out, possibly as a result of cost cutting.
One of the benefits of purchasing a car from Lola is the ability to equip it with any customer engine that meets the ACO's 2011 regulations. GT motors from BMW, Ford, HPD, Jaguar, Judd, Nissan, and Toyota will all fit in either coupe, giving a race team nearly unlimited options for power and sponsorship.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


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