Cambs-based Lola could return to F1 next year
HUNTINGDON racing car manufacturer Lola could be on the starting grid in next year s Formula One series. The company, which has high hopes of making life difficult for the dominant diesel-engined Audis and Peugeots in the year s Le Mans 24 Hours race in J
HUNTINGDON racing car manufacturer Lola could be on the starting grid in next year's Formula One series.
The company, which has high hopes of making life difficult for the dominant diesel-engined Audis and Peugeots in the year's Le Mans 24 Hours race in June, has revealed that it could return to F1 after an absence of 15 years.
Lola chassis competed at the top level of popular motorsport in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, but without distinction.
But expected changes to the F1 rules, limiting teams' expenditure, have led executive chairman Martin Birrane, a former racing driver, to look seriously at the possibility of a works team in the 2010 championship. A formal bid could be made within weeks.
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"The announcement that Formula One teams may opt for a prudent, financially responsible 'cost-capped' regime from 2010 has resulted in us deciding to evaluate fully the opportunity to develop a car to compete in the FIA Formula One World Championship," Mr Birrane said.
"Providing world-class engineering excellence, offering high-quality solutions governed by a tightly-controlled financial regime has been part of Lola's DNA over the last decade.
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"The current necessity for Formula One to adopt a responsible approach in times of economic uncertainty has created the ideal conditions for us to consider developing a car for the World Championship. Lola possesses the technical resources, capability and know-how to develop cars capable of competing at the very highest levels of international motor sport, including Formula One."
Lola, which has a rich heritage in international motor sport since its inception in 1958, has commenced work on the project and, subject to the publication of both the technical and cost capping regulations for 2010, is in discussions with a number of parties with a view to creating a Lola-designed, manufactured and developed car, said spokesman Sam Smith.
"Lola has appointed key new staff to the project and allocated some of its top engineers to this stage of the evaluation. Lola is extremely well positioned to respond quickly to this opportunity.