|All pictures courtesy of Peter Collins.
Plateau 5 Race|
No7 - HINDERER/STRETTON/HINDERER (T70 MkIIIB)
No14 - MINSHAW (T70 MkIIIB)
No29 - HANCOCK/WOOD/GATHERCOLE (T212)
No47 - THUNER (T70 MkIII)
No49 - GUIKAS (T70 MkIII)
No69 - BARBOT (T70 MkIIIB)
Plateau 6 Race
No15 - BELTOISE/NAKANO/ARNOUX (T290)
No23 - SKIDMORE/VEGHER (T286)
No25 - LEWIS (T290)
No38 - QUINIOU/LARROUSSE (T280)
No44 - MAHE/BAUDOIN/LACROIX (T290)
You could be forgiven for thinking that the Le Mans Classic was hosting yet another 50th birthday party for Lola...the cars turned out in great numbers, as owners just wanted to show off their great machinery.
Patrick Barthelemy/Didier Billo were entered in the 1957 -61 group with their MK1, while not surprisingly the 1966-71 ‘plateau’ saw T70 MKIIIBs...seven of them in fact. The ‘newest’ cars...1972-79 had a great series of races, with T292 (2), T280 (3), T290 (2), T286 (2), T380, T294, and T298. That’s 12 cars in just this group...and they put on a good show for the marque!
Thuner/Nahum won the first of their three races in the T70 MKIIIB, dropped to 15th in the second one and came back to 12th in their final, netting them 5th overall. The Hancock/Gathercole T212 was 3rd in the first race for the group but mechcanical problems dropped them down the order. Rene Arnoux was sharing a T70MKIIIB with Shinji Nakano though they sadly only managed a lap.
The very serious racing was in the final group, and that saw a showdown between Jurgen Barth/J-M-Luco in a Porsche 936 and the Lola T286 of Bert Skidmore and David Vegher. The Lola finished just behind the Porsche after three races...the Porsche taking two rounds and the Lola one. In third was the great Gerard Larrousse in a T280 with M.Quiniou. Stefano Rosina had his T380 into 5th in the first round with Jeffrey Lewis' T290 8th. Larrousse/Quiniou were 3rd on Index of Performance.
With most of the more recent Lolas grouped together in Paddock 6, there was a steady stream of visitors to see this sparkling display, the 50th anniversary being mentioned many times over the Classic weekend. Gerard Larrousse spent several hours sitting in the Lola in the paddock signing autographs and telling tales of the past.