Once upon a time there was the Lola coupe
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Once upon a time there was the Lola coupe

The Lola coupe takes a bow. The car has made itself known in recent years, both at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) or in the different series labeled "Le Mans". Retrospective.

Created in 2008, the Lola coupe accompanied the return of Aston Martin prototypes, with the rise of the Rebellion Racing team and also conquered America.

Once upon a time there was a Lola-Aston Martin car… In 2009, Aston Martin Racing decided to move into the LM P1 class. The automaker chose the Lola coupe and the Aston Martin motor of the DBR-9 car, which won two consecutive class victories in La Sarthe. All this amounted to one of the most beautiful prototypes in recent years: the skyblue and orange livery of Gulf oil company brought to mind the long Porsche 917 car (1971), and the hum of the V12 almost rivaled that of the legendary Matra motor, three-time winner at Le Mans! The Lola-Aston Martin won with little effort the LM P1 class title at the 2009 Le Mans Series. Two years later, in the Signature Plus team's colors, the car brought Vanina Ickx her best finish (seventh) at the 24 Hours.

Once upon a time there was the Rebellion Racing team… Already seen in 2008 and 2009 with the Lola coupe, Speedy Racing Team Sebah was rechristened the Rebellion Racing team in 2010 and confirmed its status as a strong contender in endurance, namely since its motor partnership with Toyota (2011). Sixth at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year, the combination finished fourth in 2012, preventing Audi from taking all four top spots. Since the formation of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), the Swiss team is undefeated in winning the FIA Endurance Trophy for private teams in the LM P1 class, and has also won two consecutive American victories at Petit Le Mans, on the Road Atlanta circuit (2011 and 2012).

Once upon a time there was a Lola coupe in America… In the American Le Mans Series, the Lola coupe dominated the 2011 season with two different motors: Mazda for the Dyson Racing team, winner in the LM P1 class, and Aston Martin for Muscle Milk Team Cytosport (known today as Muscle Milk Pickett Racing). Also noteworthy is that in 2010, Drayson Racing - the team of Lord Paul Drayson, the former British minister turned driver - claimed a victory at the wheel of a Lola coupe powered with biofuel.

Once upon a time there was a Lola coupe in the LM P2 class… This versatile prototype shined both in the LM P1 and LM P2 classes, with a title in the latter class won by the British RML team in the 2010 Le Mans Series.

In different versions over the years (B08/60, B09/60, B10/60, B11/60 and B12/60), the Lola coupe has joined another of the British automaker's models that made the heyday of private teams: the Lola T70, seen at Le Mans from 1967 to 1971.

Jean-Philippe Doret / ACO

The 82nd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place June 14-15, 2014.

Photo: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, SATURDAY JUNE 22 2013, RACE. The Rebellion Racing team gave the Lola coupe its best finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.