A GOVERNMENT Minister is urging Huntingdon racing car-maker Lola to repeat the round-the-streets spectacle that was the pinnacle of the firm s 50th anniversary a year ago. Barbara Follett, who is Minister for the East of England and in the Department for
A GOVERNMENT Minister is urging Huntingdon racing car-maker Lola to repeat the round-the-streets spectacle that was the pinnacle of the firm's 50th anniversary a year ago.
Barbara Follett, who is Minister for the East of England and in the Department for Communities and Local Government, was in Huntingdon last week to open Lola's brand-new production line at its St Peter's Road factory.
"The round-the-town parade should be repeated, say every five years," she told The Hunts Post during the visit. "The cars are a huge draw, and I have suggested it to Andrew Managhan [group managing director] today."
Mrs Follett had a tour of the plant, seeing not only its successful racing cars - Lola won the Le Mans Series constructor's championship even before the last race of the endurance series - but unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles, and watched wind-tunnel testing of a half-scale model of one of Lola's Le Mans Series cars.
She also talked to Peter McCool, now head of special projects at Lola Cars. The former McLaren and Super Aguri engineer led Lola's abortive bid for F1 entry in 2010, but the company's ambition to compete at the top level of motor racing has not diminished.
At the official opening of the production facility, she told staff: "This place is absolutely marvellous. As a Star Trek fan, this is exactly the sort of thing I love looking at. You people have great jobs - it must be more like fun than work. Use me to lobby for you."
Mrs Follett is a self-confessed petrol-head who drives a Jaguar XKR. She said afterwards: "I'm so proud of this facility. Some of the stuff here is almost at the level of science fiction and about the way future conflicts will be fought and about surveillance - all without people. They have a very highly-skilled workforce here.