Prominent chassis builder and long forgotten Formula 1 team Lola have revealed they have been getting involved in the sport again by loaning their wind tunnel to the Spyker team.

With Spyker currently updating their own wind tunnel, the Dutch team have called upon the assistance of Lola's base in Huntingdon to refine the B-specification of their F1 car that will debut at the Turkish Grand Prix next month.

"We are in the process of upgrading our own wind tunnel and found ourselves with downtime for the first six months of the year, whilst we continued our cooperation with Aerolab in Italy," said technical director Mike Gascoyne. We decided to tunnel test in the Lola facilities in order to evaluate their services."

"As a result of our initial work in the Lola tunnel and their own improvements to their standard of accuracy and repeatability, we have made significant progress this year. A lot of that aerodynamic progress in conjunction with Lola will be reflected in the 'B' Spec Spyker, which will be seen in the Turkish Grand Prix. John Davis has worked very hard with Lola to make the facility operate at a standard we expect and my standards are very high."

Whether or not the partnership will be extended to the future remains unclear, but it marks Lola's first involvement with Formula 1 for some time, ten years since their ill fated works effort in 1997 that lasted one race.

Still, Lola technical manager Dr John Davies claims the quality of their wind tunnel - used to hone their various single-seaters and sportscars - is enough to attract F1 teams now.

"The Lola tunnel has recently enjoyed a significant enhancement and this has been reflected in leading F1 figures such as Mike Gascoyne taking an interest in the facility. We have also enjoyed upgrades in CFD software and hardware capabilities through partnerships with AMD and FLUENT.

"These developments combined with the fully equipped model shop, that forms part of the dedicated technical complex, allows users of the wind tunnel a confidential ready to go facility. The Lola Wind Tunnel offers a flexible expansion to the growing needs of the Formula One Aerodynamic Development Programmes."

 

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