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The Lola B05/40 is a Le Mans Prototype built by Lola Cars International for use in the LMP2 class for the American Le Mans Series, Le Mans Series, and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Developed in 2005, it was intended as a replacement for both the Lola B2K/40 and the MG-Lola EX257. It shares various structural elements with the larger LMP1-class Lola B06/10.
Following a change to Le Mans regulations by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), which saw the LMP900 and LMP675 classes eliminated in order to make way for the newer LMP1 and LMP2 classes, many teams found that their old chassis would no longer be legal when the new regulations came into full effect in 2007. Lola's older chassis would be among those deemed illegal, requiring them to develop an all new car to meet the new LMP2 regulations.
The B05/40 can be seen as an evolution of the MG-Lola EX257 (also known as Lola B01/60), in that many mechanical and aerodynamic elements are shared between the two cars. While the front fenders appear similar in shape, there are major dimensional differences between the two cars (1000 mm over hang vs. 810 mm) such that the B05/40's fenders are bespoke to the car. The nose is raised in a fashion similar to the EX257 while lacking the opening grill at the tip. This opening is instead replaced by two large NACA ducts placed on either side of the nose. Behind the cockpit, now mandated twin rollover hoops replace the single roll hoop which originally sat behind just the driver. The air intake for the engine is placed in a nacelle between these rollover hoops, while turbocharged cars use a large duct placed to the left side of the cockpit.
Various engines have been used in the B05/40, with no standard engine being used when designing the chassis. The B05/40 was designed to accept a wide variety due to its use as a customer chassis for privateers. Engines used included Nicholson-McLaren V8s, Judd V8s, Zytek V8s, Acura V8s, AER turbocharged Inline-4s and Mazda turbocharged Inline-4s.
Since 2005, Lola continually upgraded the B05/40, including various bodywork upgrades for improved aerodynamics. In late 2006, a new chassis for Fernández Racing's Acura team was built which included slight upgrades, leading to Lola terming the car B06/40. However, for the beginning of the 2007 season, Lola unveiled further upgrades that were used by nearly all B05/40 customers. These upgrades included a redesigned front end, which replaced the NACA ducts with a single opening in the nose. Although all chassis have been upgraded, the naming of each car varies depending on the team, with B05/40, B06/40 and B07/40 all being used.
Another modified B05/40 was used by Ray Mallock Ltd. While called a MG EX264, this car is effectively 90% B05/40. It was later upgraded to include the 2007 bodywork, while retaining the EX264 name.
For their initial season in 2005, one B05/40 would be used by Intersport Racing in the American Le Mans Series season, while Chamberlain-Synergy Motorsport, Lista Racing, Ray Mallock Ltd. and Binnie Motorsports competed in the Le Mans Endurance Series. In the ALMS, Intersport would easily take the LMP2 championship with five victories over the season. Meanwhile, in the LMES, Chamberlain-Synergy would take the LMP2 championship, while Ray Mallock would take second and Horag fourth, with each of the three teams managing one win over the season. In the middle of the season, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Intersport would join Ray Mallock and Chamberlain-Synergy for the endurance event, with Ray Mallock taking the LMP2 victory.
Going into 2006, all of the B05/40 teams would remain, although Chamberlain-Synergy's team would be taken over by ASM Team Racing for Portugal midway through the Le Mans Series season. For Intersport, the American Le Mans Series LMP2 championship could not be retained due to new competition from the Porsche RS Spyder, even though Intersport scored three wins. A similar situation would occur in the LMS, with Barazi-Epsilon's Courage Competition outdoing the Ray Mallock EX264, which had one win. Although Chamberlain Synergy's chassis scored three wins during the season, their take over by ASM Team Racing for Portugal meant that the team's points were split, denying them the championship. For the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ray Mallock would again take the LMP2 victory, with Intersport, Binnie and Chamberlain-Synergy also participating.
For the 2007 season, Intersport would move to the LMP1 class with a new chassis, while Fernández Racing would join the series with an upgraded B05/40 for use with the Acura Le Mans project. B-K Motorsports would also purchase a new B05/40 for use with their Mazda project, switching from a previous Courage chassis. Ray Mallock, Horag, Binnie and ASM Team Racing for Portugal would all remain in the Le Mans Series, all running with the 2007 upgrades.
Lola Cars International Ltd. was a British race car engineering company in operation from 1958 to 2012. The company was founded by Eric Broadley in Bromley, England, before moving to new premises in Slough, Buckinghamshire and finally Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, and endured for more than fifty years to become one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of racing cars in the world. Lola Cars started by building small front-engined sports cars, and branched out into Formula Junior cars before diversifying into a wider range of sporting vehicles. Lola was acquired by Martin Birrane in 1998 after the unsuccessful MasterCard Lola attempt at Formula One.
Judd is a brand of racing car engines built by Engine Developments Ltd., a company founded in 1971 by John Judd and Jack Brabham in Rugby, Warwickshire, England. Engine Developments was intended to build engines for Brabham's racing efforts, and became one of the first firms authorised by Cosworth to maintain and rebuild its DFV engines, but has since expanded into various areas of motorsport.
The 73rd 24 Hours of Le Mans was a non-championship 24-hour automobile endurance race held for Le Mans Prototype and Grand Touring cars from 18 to 19 June 2005 at the Circuit de la Sarthe close by Le Mans, France. It was the 73rd running of the event, as organised by the automotive group, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) since 1923. A test day was held two weeks prior to the race on 5 June. Approximately 230,000 people attended the race.
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Courage Compétition was a racing team and chassis constructor company now owned by Oreca, based in Le Mans, France near the Circuit de la Sarthe. It was founded by Yves Courage, a French race driver who ran hillclimbs before founding the company. Following the purchase of Courage by Oreca in 2007, Yves Courage has refounded the company as Courage Technology in 2010, attempting to develop electric racing cars.
Fernández Racing was a Mexican motor racing team that competed in the American Le Mans Series, Champ Car, the IRL IndyCar Series, and the Rolex Sports Car Series. The team was co-founded by Adrian Fernández and Tom Anderson in 2001.
The 2006 American Le Mans Series season was the 36th season for the IMSA GT Championship, with the eighth as the American Le Mans Series. It was a series for Le Mans Prototypes (LMP) and Grand Touring (GT) race cars divided into 4 classes: LMP1, LMP2, GT1, and GT2. It began March 18, 2006, and ended October 21, 2006 after 10 races.
Ray Mallock Ltd., also known as RML Group, is a motorsports and high performance engineering company, based in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom.
Advanced Engine Research, Ltd. is an auto racing engine manufacturer based in Basildon, Essex, England. Established in 1997, AER has developed winning engines for a number of high-profile international race series in sports car, prototype racing, rallying, touring car, and open wheel racing. They have designed engines derived from road car platforms, but their emphasis is on clean sheet designed engines with a focus on electronics and turbochargers. Their engines have raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), the European Le Mans Series (ELMS), the United SportsCar Championship (TUSC), GP3, British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), Nissan/Renault World Series, Grand-Am, Paris Dakar and FIA Sportscar Championship. They have worked with a number of manufacturers including Mazda, Ford, Hyundai, MG/Rover, Nissan, and Toyota. In 2012, AER developed and built Formula One turbo test engines to current rules and in July 2012, AER was chosen as engine partner and supplier to the new GP3 racing series. They currently supply engines for the Indy Lights series.
The Acura ARX-01, later known as the HPD ARX-01 is a series of Le Mans Prototype built for sports car racing, specifically in the American Le Mans Series, Le Mans Series, and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It is the first purpose-built race car by the Acura division of Honda Motor Company, part of their multi-year program to eventually compete in endurance race. The car debuted in 2007 in the American Le mans Series before expanding to customers in Europe. Over the years various specifications of the ARX-01 chassis have been developed, each signified by a letter suffix. In 2010 Acura withdrew their name from the program and Honda Performance Development which developed the car for Acura continued the program into 2011.
The MG-Lola EX257 is a Le Mans Prototype built by Lola for the MG car company for their attempt to compete again at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2001. The car has had many years of mixed success since its introduction, even in privateer hands.
The Lola B98/10 was a Le Mans Prototype built by Lola Cars International for use in the International Sports Racing Series, American Le Mans Series, and 24 Hours of Le Mans. It would be the first international sports car built by Lola since they briefly left the sport in 1992 following the Lola T92/10. It would be succeeded in 2000 by the Lola B2K/10.
The Lola B2K/10 was a Le Mans Prototype developed in 2000 by Lola Cars International for use in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, American Le Mans Series, Grand American Road Racing Championship, and Sports Racing World Cup. It was a replacement for the previous Lola B98/10 and shared some elements with its smaller variant, the Lola B2K/40.
The Lola B2K/40 was a Le Mans Prototype developed in 2000 by Lola Cars International as a cheaper, smaller, and lighter alternative to the similar Lola B2K/10. Although specifically designed to compete in the SR2 class of the Sports Racing World Cup and Grand American Road Racing Championship, it would later be adapted to the LMP675 and LMP2 classes for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and American Le Mans Series. This design was replaced in 2005 by the Lola B05/40 and would last be used in competition in 2006.
The Lola B06/10 is a Le Mans Prototype developed by Lola Cars International for use in the LMP1 class of the American Le Mans Series, Le Mans Series, and 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was developed in 2006 as a replacement for the Lola B2K/10 as well as the MG-Lola EX257. It shared much of its mechanical elements and design with the LMP2 class Lola B05/40, which was developed the year prior.
The Reynard 02S was a Le Mans Prototype race car built by Reynard Motorsport in 2002. Intended to replace the failed Reynard 2KQ prototype, the 02S would end up becoming the final new design from Reynard as the company went bankrupt prior to the project's completion.
The Lola B08/80 is a Le Mans Prototype built by Lola Cars International. It is effectively the LMP2 version of the larger Lola B08/60; they are the first closed-cockpit sports prototypes built by Lola since the T92/10 of 1992. The B08/80 is optimised for the smaller engines and lighter weight of the LMP2 category in comparison to the larger and heavier B08/60.
Highcroft Racing was an American auto racing team based out of Danbury, Connecticut and founded by driver Duncan Dayton in 1989. Initially founded for Dayton's involvement in historic motorsport, specifically the restoration and preparation of classic automobiles, the team was expanded for Dayton's entry into the USAC Formula Ford 2000 series in 1994. The team entered a partnership with Intersport Racing in 2003 and entered the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
Intersport Racing is a former American auto racing team founded by Jon Field. The team was based in Dublin, Ohio. They previously operated two Oreca FLM09 sports cars in the American Le Mans Series. At current, the company has transitioned into diet supplements.
Chamberlain Engineering was an automotive engine builder turned auto racing team founded by racing driver Hugh Chamberlain in 1972. The team moved through the British national sports car championships before becoming a competitor in the World Sportscar Championship, eventually winning world titles in 1989 and 1992. Chamberlain went on to develop sports cars for Jaguar and Lotus in the 1990s before becoming a customer of the Chrysler Viper GTS-R program in the FIA GT Championship; the team later led MG's return to Le Mans in 2001. Chamberlain later merged with Gareth Evans to form Chamberlain-Synergy Motorsport to campaign TVRs in 2004 before moving to the European Le Mans Series where they won another championship in 2005. Chamberlain-Synergy left active motorsports in 2008, although Hugh Chamberlain continues to work as a manager and consultant with other teams in sports car racing.