1999 LOLA B98/10 LMP900 HU02
Driven by Jan Lammers, winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and twice winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona, FIA WSC World Champion in 2002 & 2003
24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999, 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000
Endurance Racing Legends Champion in 2019
Carbon tub and sequential gearbox
Eligible for Gulf Historic, Masters Endurance Legends, Daytona Classic, Endurance Racing Legends and Le Mans Classic
ENDURANCE RACING LEGENDS by PETER AUTO
LE MANS CLASSIC
LE MANS 24 HOURS SUPPORT RACE
MASTERS ENDURANCE LEGENDS
MASTERS ENDURANCE LEGENDS USA
SEBRING CLASSIC 12 HOUR by HSR
DAYTONA CLASSIC 24 HOUR by HSR
ROLEX MONTEREY MOTORSPOSTS REUNION
B98/10 LMP 900
CARBON or STEEL
FORD V8 6 LITER
6-SPEED SEQUENTIAL GEARBOX
Unveiled in Atlanta in September 1998, the Lola B98/10 marked the return of the Huntingdon constructor to the world of endurance racing. After a long absence since 1992 and the Lola T92/10, the English firm came back into business with a fine-looking, top-performance prototype. In the shadow of the "big" constructors, this Lola had nothing to be ashamed of.
The Lola B98/10: the return to endurance racing
At the end of the 1990s, Lola embarked on an ambitious project: to create an affordable prototype for racing teams, capable of competing in endurance racing at the very highest level anywhere in the world. The result was the B98/10, designed to compete in the American Le Mans Series, the International Sports Racing Series and, of course, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The project was led by Peter Weston, one of the first to join Lola after Martin Birrane acquired the firm.
The design may seem quite similar to other prototypes of the time - the Nissan R391, the Courage C52, the Ferrari 333SP or the Riley & Scott MKIII - all racing at the same time as the B98/10. And in fact, Peter Weston was indeed hired to design a car capable of beating the Ferrari 333SPs and the Riley & Scott MKIIIs (hence the “B” in the name of the new prototypes). The new car was an SR1 which could be modified to compete in both the American Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and in the LMP900 category.
A number of unique features set the little English newcomer apart right from the start - the front of the car, for example, which has such extremely curved wings that the headlights are mounted on the side. The air intakes are situated just beneath the roll-bar as in a single-seater, thereby freeing up a little more space on the front bonnet, designed entirely for speed. The car is built around a carbon fibre monocoque with an FIA and ACO approved crash box, ensuring safety and rigidity for an ultra-modern car.
A major wind tunnel testing programme was undertaken to optimize the B98/10’s road-handling performances.
Among the other specific features of this Lola B98/10, we could cite, for example, fast access to the shock absorbers and anti-roll bars without needing to remove the car body. This allows greatly reduced intervention times for making adjustments or changes. The six-speed sequential gearbox using Hewland parts and the cooling system are both extremely efficient. In addition, the geometry of the steering was developed with the finest precision, giving a constant, highly communicative steering force that is reassuring for the driver.
Now let's talk of speed. Several engines were compatible with this Lola B98/10. This was the case, in particular, of the Roush Ford 6.0-litre V8 engine, which the car’s development was built around. But if the customers so wished, it was also possible to fit a Ford V6 turbo, a Lotus V8, a Chevrolet V8, a BMW 6-cylinder in line or even a Judd V10 engine. It was a car designed for competition customers, that seduced several teams right from the start. It must be said that its very first official run, the day after the first edition of the Petit Le Mans, was impressive. According to on-the-spot witnesses, the Lola B98 / 10, with a Ford engine and James Weaver at the wheel, lapped in 1'12''4, while Allan McNish had placed a Porsche 911 GT1 in pole position in 1'13''7 ...
The Lola b98/10 attracts several teams, including Franz Konrad's team
Since Porsche was no longer involved in prototype competitions, Franz Konrad turned to Lola. He who, with his team, had won the last two Porsche Cups, suddenly had to get by without the Weissach firm. He bought one of the first Lola chassis B98/10s to be produced, the HU2 (the second in a total series of 8 open-cockpit cars). The idea was then to fit a Porsche engine, the one that equipped the victorious 911 GT1 in 1998. But Porsche did not agree with the idea (this engine, relieved of its turbos, was fitted in the new 911 GT3 entered in LM GT races). So, Franz Konrad had to find an alternative solution.
Same thing at Kremer Racing. The firm belonging to the Kremer brothers, which Erwin now managed alone, immediately jumped on the Lola B98/10 (chassis HU07). The winning team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1979 and the 24 Hours of Daytona 1995 with Porsche, after 30 years of faithful partnership, went over to Lola, with the intention of causing a surprise.
Before the season even began, the Lola B98/10 clan was looking in fine fettle. Konrad Motorsport, Kremer Racing, DAMS and Intersport Racing were all eager to join battle.
The Lola B98/10 Chassis HU02 : 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours and Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999
Jan Lammers, winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and two times winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona, was the pillar of the Konrad Motorsport Team which entered the LOLA B98/10 chassis HU02. The program was very strong in 1999 with the 24 Hours of Daytona, then the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car performed well in qualifying but struggled to conclude in the races. The B98/10 was modified for the Le Mans track, with an elongated rear bonnet (long tail) and a single diffuser that the other two B98/10s starting the race did not have. It was a unique body that set the HU02 - No. 26 - apart from the other Lola B98/10s. The English prototype was agile, and in the race, the Lola was flashed at 319 km/h. Not so far from the 324 km/h of the BMW V12 LMR n°15 victorious that year.
Forced to retire due to a broken gearbox, the Lola's career continued in 2000.
2000: P2 in the Daytona Test and 24 hours of Daytona
It returned to Daytona in 2000 for the Daytona Test where it finished second, behind the Ferrari 333 SP driven by Mauro Baldi and ahead of an armada of prototypes: the Ferrari 333 SP of the Risi Competition team driven by Ralf Kelleners and Alex Cafi, several Riley & Scott Mk3s, Reynard 2QKs and two Cadillac LMP.
At the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000, it was a real hecatomb for the prototypes which allowed the official VIPER GTS/R to win. With a very good time of 1'42''797, which allowed it to start from 7th place on the grid (the pole position was signed in 1'41''002), HU02 did not see the finish line due to engine failure.
The car then came back to Europe, to race one last time, under the colours of the Franz Konrad team, in the SRWC round at Monza. After that, it was the Eventus Motorsport team that entered the HU2. The German team raced it in the FIA SCC series with, in particular, an 8th place at the Brno round.
Winner of the 2019 Endurance Racing Legends Championship
The car was then entered in the Historic Sportscar Racing series from 2006 to 2008, by Robert Blain.
Acquired in 2018 by Ascott Collection while the car was still in the United States, Xavier Micheron decided to enter it at Daytona Classic. It was his first time driving at Daytona and the first time he drove the HU02. Qualifying in second place, he soon encountered engine sensor problems. The car was then imported to France and entered in the Endurance Racing Legends. Both fast and reliable, this LOLA B98/10 allowed Xavier to win the 2019 Endurance Racing Legends by Peter Auto Championship in the Proto A category which has since become the LMP1 A category.
HU02 which is the only LOLA B98/10 with a Le Mans aerodynamic kit with the long tail is now available for sale. This LOLA B98/10 will certainly allow its future owner to fight for an overall victory in Endurance Racing Legends by Peter Auto and Le Mans Classic. This LMP900 is also eligible for the most prestigious races in the USA, in Masters Endurance Legends and Gulf Historic.
Photo in period: John Brooks
Photo in historic racing: Luc Joly
Statical photos: Cathy Dubuisson for Ascott Collection