HUNTINGDON-based Lola Cars are celebrating after signing a major new partnership with automotive giant Mazda. The American arm of the Japanese company has chosen Lola to supply the chassis for Mazda s entry into the Sebring 12-hour race – known as the Ame

The design plans for the new BO7\40 model.

HUNTINGDON-based Lola Cars are celebrating after signing a major new partnership with automotive giant Mazda.

The American arm of the Japanese company has chosen Lola to supply the chassis for Mazda's entry into the Sebring 12-hour race - known as the American Le Mans.

The B07\40 model is an evolution of the B05\40 model which has brought Lola triumphs in the famous Le Mans 24-hour endurance race over the past two years.

Lola spokesman Sam Smith said: "We are delighted to announce another significant deal for Lola with what is a major player in global motorsport."

The Sebring circuit, which is in Florida near Miami, is home to an annual 12-hour endurance race in which Lola are regularly in attendance.

The new car will be driven by Norfolk sports car ace Ben Devlin, American racer Jamie Bach and Brazilian prodigy Rafael Matos. Engines for the car will be supplied by Essex-based AER.

Construction of the new B07\40 model is already underway at Lola's Huntingdon base in St Peters Road, led by Julian Sole, head of the design team at the plant.

Testing of the new model is scheduled to take place at Norfolk's Snetterton race circuit in March.

Mr Smith continued: "We already have a deal with Honda in place for sports cars in the USA and now a second manufacturer has shown trust and commitment to use our LMP2 chassis; commonly acknowledged as the best in the world.

"That in itself is a reflection on the top class people working for us and the constant investment that our chairman, Martin Birrane, puts in to the technical resources here at Lola."

The Twelve Hours of Sebring race will take place on March 17.

Meanwhile, Lola have confirmed that their LMP2 chassis will be in action again at this year's Le Mans 24 hour race in which the RML squad will be looking to claim a hat-trick of victories in the class for the Lola chassis.