The new Lola B05/40 LMP2 car enjoyed a victorious weekend on both sides of the Atlantic, with the brand new Chamberlain-Synergy entry winning its class at Spa and beating its US-based Intersport equivalent to the model's first honour.

On it European race debut, the all -black Chamberlain-Synergy car took LMP2 class spoils and an impressive fifth overall at the opening round of the Le Mans Endurance Series. The sportscar classic witnessed a race of attrition in damp and misty conditions, but the British B05/40 ran perfectly to head its nearest challenger by three laps at the end of six hours' competition.

A breathless opening stint by team principal Bob Berridge saw the AER-engined entry trade fastest laps of the race with the leading LMP1 cars from Pescarolo, Audi and eventual winner Zytek and, towards the end, the veteran even managed to catch and pass several of the supposedly more powerful machines, underlining just what the new Lola is capable of in conditions creating a level playing field.

"I couldn't quite believe that I was catching the Audi and the Zytek," a delighted Berridge admitted afterwards, "At that stage, they were holding me up and I got past pretty easily. It was a great team effort today and the car is absolutely awesome - I honestly don't think that I have driven a better car than this!"

Co-drivers Peter Owen and Gareth Evans followed Berridge into the hot seat and continued his sterling work in the ever-worsening conditions, with Owen particularly excited at taking victory on his LMP2 debut.

"After the Paul Ricard test, we knew that we had a fast and reliable car," he said, "All we needed to do was get the 'monkeys' in the car trained and we were laughing!"

Experienced sportscar entrant Hugh Chamberlain, who masterminded the victory from pit-wall, thought that race ran almost perfectly for the team.

"It is a brand new team, and we have been up against it in recent weeks, but we did rather well in difficult circumstances," he said with a degree of understatement, "Full marks to the team and the drivers because it wasn't easy out there today."

Victory would not have been so assured if the other new Lola in the field - the RML EX264 - had not been frustrated by an intermittent electrical problem. After losing several laps because of the problem, the MG-engined car eventually came home 18th overall, and fourth in class.

"It was good to see the competitive pace of the car, and it shows that we clearly have enough speed to be a frontrunner in the LMP2 class," team CEO Ray Mallock commented, "Mike and Tommy did a great job today and, although it was frustrating to have a problem with a relatively minor piece of hardware, overall we are happy with the performance of the car."



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