Lola B2K/10

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Lola B2K/10[1]
A Lola B2K/10 currently used in Historic Sportscar Racing.
Category LMP900/SR1
Constructor Lola Cars International
Technical specifications
Length 4,640 mm (15 ft 3 in)
Width 1,990 mm (6 ft 6 in)
Axle track 1,660 mm (5 ft 5 in) front
1,580 mm (5 ft 2 in) rear
Wheelbase 2,800 mm (9 ft 2 in)
Engine Judd GV4 4.0L N/A V10
Roush Racing-Ford 6.0L N/A V8
Porsche 3.6L twin-turbocharged Flat-6 mid-engined, longitudinally mounted
Transmission 6-speed sequential manual
Weight Appr. 900 kg (2,000 lb)
Tyres Michelin
Competition history
Debut 2000 12 Hours of Sebring
Races Wins Poles Fastest laps
75[2] 5 2

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.

Development[edit]

More an evolution of the B98/10 than an all new car, the B2K/10 shared many design elements, most notably at the front end of the car. The unusual fenders and headlights remained, while the nose had been raised in order to accommodate a higher footbox. However, unlike other prototypes which usually had the nose come to a point to allow for an air intake, the B2K/10's nose merely stopped where the footbox ended, leaving a large vertical protrusion. Inside of this, a third headlight was mounted for better visibility in endurance races.

Part of the reasoning behind not creating an intake in the nose was due to the decision to draw all the cooling air for the car from underneath. Unfortunately, this design would suffer from problems due to ambient track temperature, a problem that had similarly plagued the BMW V12 LM in 1998. The large air intake mounted underneath the rollbar of the B98/10 could also be removed, although not all cars did this. If removed, the intakes were relocated to small nacelles to the side of the cockpit, allowing for a cleaner flow of air to the rear wing from underneath the rollbar.

The sides would also be radically changed, with large openings between the sidepod and cockpit allowing air over the nose to escape out the side of the car. The radiator intakes on the side, which were partially fed from the air channeled away from the nose, were also larger than those on the B98/10.

For an engine, Lola would remain with the same engine as the B98/10s, a Roush Racing-designed Ford 6.0 Litre V8. However, as before, a wide variety of other engines were chosen by teams for use, including the Judd GV4 V10 and a Porsche twin-turbocharged Flat-6.

In total, only six B2K/10s would be built.

Racing history[edit]

In early 2000, the first three B2K/10s would be delivered to customers, with Team Rafanelli receiving a Judd-powered chassis, Philip Creighton Motorsport a Ford-powered chassis, and Champion Racing a Porsche-powered chassis. While Creighton Motorsport's chassis was not quite ready, the other two teams made their debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Unfortunately neither car managed to finish, with Champion suffering a suspension failure in the closing hours and Rafanelli dropping out early on.

While Rafanelli and Champion would remain in the American Le Mans Series, they would later be joined by Intersport Racing, who added a Judd-powered B2K/10 alongside their B98/10 for a two-car team. Rafanelli would take the best result of the season, a third at Charlote Motor Speedway. Creighton Motorsports would go to the Grand American Road Racing Championship, scoring a best finish of second at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, although Intersport would also take a second at Watkins Glen International during a brief appearance in the series.

Meanwhile, Konrad Motorsport would purchase another chassis, keeping with a Ford powerplant, and run the Sports Racing World Cup late in the season, replacing their B98/10. The car would score points in a single race at the Nürburgring, finishing third. Finally, for the 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rafanelli and Konrad would enter their chassis, yet neither car managed to finish.

For 2001, there would be some adjustments in the teams, with Intersport being the only one to remain in the same position as 2000, staying in the American Le Mans Series while running a select number of Grand American Road Racing Championship races.. Champion Racing would move permanently to the GARRC, while Rafanelli bought a Ferrari 550 Maranello. Konrad Racing would move to concentrating on grand tourer racing, making only a select few appearances with their car. Philip Creighton Motorsport would run the 24 Hours of Daytona only before dropping out. This season, the B2K/10 would score its first victory in GARRC at Phoenix International Raceway for Intersport Racing, followed by a second win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

By 2002, the B2K/10's design flaws were leaving it farther behind the competition. Intersport would continue in both the ALMS and GARRC now running two chassis, while Pegasus Racing would purchase Champion Racings Porsche-powered B2K/10 for GARRC. These would be the only teams racing the B2K/10 for that season, with Intersport having a best result of second at Homestead-Miami Speedway for GARRC.

However for 2003, the B2K/10 would see a slight resurgence. Intersport would concentrate solely on the American Le Mans Series while newcomer Taurus Sports Racing would enter the FIA Sportscar Championship with the former Rafanelli car, as well as select ALMS events. Taurus Sports Racing would score the best result of the year, a third at Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

Finally, in 2004 the B2K/10 would see its final competition. After a disappointing failure to finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Taurus Sports Racing set out to bring diesel technology to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Besides the normal Judd-powered B2K/10, Taurus would add a second chassis powered by a Caterpillar-tuned Volkswagen twin turbocharged V10 engine. First attempting to run the opening Le Mans Endurance Series race at Monza, the team came to Le Mans believing that the diesel be a match for current competitors. Unfortunately the torque of the engine destroyed the diesel-powered B2K/10's gearbox after a mere 35 laps. The team's other, gasoline-powered B2K/10 would finish the race, taking 20th place. Following one final appearance by the diesel-powered car at Silverstone Circuit which lead to a failure, the final active B2K/10 was retired from competition.

The B2K/10 would be partially replaced by the Lola B01/60 (MG-Lola EX257) in 2001 before being fully replaced by the Lola B06/10 in 2006.

Chassis history[edit]

A total of six B2K/10s were constructed in 2000, running competitively until 2004.[3]

#HU-01

  • Team Rafanelli, Judd powerplant (2000)
  • Taurus Sports Racing, Judd powerplant (2003)
  • Taurus Sports Racing, Caterpillar powerplant (2004)

#HU-02

  • Philip Creighton Motorsport, Ford powerplant (2000–2001)

#HU-03

  • Champion Racing, Porsche powerplant (2000–2001)
  • Pegasus Racing, Porsche powerplant (2001)

#HU-04

#HU-05

  • Intersport Racing, Judd powerplant (2002–2003)
  • Taurus Sports Racing, Judd powerplant (2004)

#HU-06

  • Intersport Racing, Judd powerplant (2000–2003)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael J. Fuller (2002). "2000 Lola B2K/10". Mulsanne's Corner. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Lola B2K/10". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Lola Sports Racing chassis numbers". World Sports Racing Prototypes. Retrieved 25 May 2013.