Lola sales boss predicts top-three at Le Mans

Race car manufacturer Lola's sporstcar supremo Keith Wiggins has predicted a podium finish for the company's Lola B2K/10 at the forthcoming Le Mans 24 Hours

Lola sales boss predicts top-three at Le Mans

"On paper at least, there's nothing to say they can't be in the top three," said the Englishman, who is Lola's head of global sales and marketing.

The former Pacific F1 team boss's comments come in the wake of the Rafanelli team's impressive performances with the car, including a podium finish at Charlotte, and a pole and fastest lap at Silverstone in the ALMS.

"We've put a low downforce kit together, which we'll make up for customers," said Wiggins, "but neither of the teams ran that at the Le Mans prequalifying test, so we haven't got a reference for that yet."

"It repositions the rear wing and puts a new nose on the car," explained Wiggins, whose sportscar history also includes the last ever racing BRM built that ran at Le Mans in the early 90s.

The Olive Garden Rafanelli team is testing the low downforce modifications at the Magny Cours track in France this week. At the Le Mans prequalifying test, the Lola stunned by beating all but the works Audi machinery. A fortnight later, the same car dominated the Silverstone ALMS meeting until a snapped throttle cable prevented a dream result.

And moreover, the 'Le Mans' spec of the car - which includes new suspension modifications and a boost to the power of the Rafanelli-badged Judd based V10 engine - should move the Lola even closer to the so-far dominant Audis.

However, Wiggins is remaining realistic - he believes it will be difficult to beat the works teams with the resources they can bring to bear on what is one of the most prized races in the motorsport calendar.

"We can't forget that it's just privateer teams up against the manufacturers, who have very concentrated resources in terms of testing, development and backup, so it's always going to be a bit of a 'David and Goliath' situation," he said.

But, Le Mans is not averse to throwing up an occasional surprise result, and privateer teams have benefited from this trait as recently as 1997, when Joest beat Porsche to the win.


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