Lola sportscars figured at the front of the field in Sunday's inaugural Le Mans 1000km race, with the British Taurus Sports squad performing admirably despite a only a short history of race action.

The team's Lola B2K/10B of Phil Andrews, Justin Keen and Giovanni Lavaggi set a time in qualifying good enough for the second row of the grid at the shorter Le Mans Bugatti circuit, before an equally impressive and eventful race saw both the team's British drivers overcome spins, a puncture and a broken driveshaft on the final lap to finish the gruelling six-hour event in ninth position overall.

Andrews, who started the race in the Judd-powered prototype, described the treacherous conditions and his combative drive in the early stages of the race.

"It was so treacherous in the first hour because the track was more greasy than completely wet," he said, "I was cautious at the start, but soon the tyres came up to their optimum temperature and the car felt absolutely perfect.

"Despite a quick spin at the hairpin, I think that I gained a decent platform for what was a great result for the team, which we can now take forward in to the 2004 season."



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