Lola is far from being a household name, but it’s one of the biggest companies in motorsports. Specializing in working behind the scenes building chassis for some of the world’s most famous race cars, Lola is officially bankrupt and ceasing operations.
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Lola Group Holdings Limited announced that it has filed for bankruptcy protection for its Lola Cars International Limited and Lola Composites Limited divisions.
The German-based Kodewa team will be campaigning a pair of Lola LMP2 Coupes in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Lola LMP2 race cars are designed and built in Huntingdon UK and will be powered by an engine provided by the Lotus Group.
The Lola B12/80 LMP2 Coupes will sport a traditional black and gold livery, which was first made famous back in the 1970′s. The famous color scheme will be a nice contrast to the classic blue and orange Gulf Oil scheme that will be seen on the other Lola LMP2 cars this season.
“We have had a very successful winter at Lola with eight LMP cars having been ordered. We believe that new entries in sports cars are recognising the technical capabilities and iconic brand of Lola. It is pleasing that Kodewa, sponsored by Lotus, has chosen Lola to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the Le Mans 24 hours, this year,” said Martin Birrane, Executive Chairman of Lola.
Lola has experienced great success recently taking the 2011 Le Mans Series and American Le Mans Series manufacturers titles. Lola was also the first gasoline-powered LMP car to finish last years Le Mans 24 Hours. We’ll see the new race cars in action at the first race of the 2012 season at the Sebring 12 Hours race on March 17th.
Detroit is not the only city currently hosting a motor show. Birmingham in the U.K. is also hosting an event: the Autosport International Motor Show. This show, however, focuses more on track day toys, and hence that’s why Caterham has launched their latest track day special there.
Caterham’s first new car in 15-years (anyone remember the 21!) is called the SP/300R and it’s been jointly developed with Lola, a company that has a long history with producing race cars.
The Sp/300R features a supercharged version of Ford‘s 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Duratec motor, which in this application produces 300-hp. This mid-engined machine (a first for Caterham) sends power to the rear wheels via a six-speed paddle-shift gearbox. With a vehicle weight of just 1,210 lbs. you can imagine this to be rather quick, and it is. 0-60 mph takes just 2.5 seconds and top speed is in the 170-mph region.
So it’s a pretty serious performance car, but it’s not going to be a common sight. Caterham is currently only looking to produce 25 examples of this model per year, and all of these will be headed to a one-make racing series in the U.K. next year. It’s not cheap either as prices start at around $100,000.
You won’t be able to take your latest toy to the shops either, since it’s not street legal and currently there are no plans to do a road-going version of this model. Let’s hope they change their mind in the future.
See a video of the car after the jump:
The Jim Russell Racing Drivers School is launching a new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution driving experience. Participants will be able to get behind the wheel of Mitsu’s amazing new EVO X on one of America’s best race tracks, Infineon.
Along with a classroom component, drivers will be able to pilot the track-ready EVO while they develop their racing technique, car control skills and get some serious speed out on the track.
“Deciding to work with Mitsubishi Motors for The Lancer Evolution program was an easy choice,” said Chip Pankow, president of Jim Russell Racing Drivers School. “We have been using the 4G63 engines in our Lola-built school cars and found them to be exceptionally reliable. The launch of The Jim Russell Lancer Evolution Experience strengthens our position as the leader in delivering new concepts and deliverables for automotive manufacturers seeking to broaden their customer base.”
Mitsubishi will officially announce the new school program on July 11 at the annual Mitsubishi Owners Day (M.O.D.), held at the Japanese automaker’s Cypress, Ca offices. There will even be a draw for the first seat in the Jim Russell Lancer Evolution Experience. Jim Russell puts the value at $1,000, but thrashing an EVO X at Infineon is practically priceless.
Official release after the jump: