Krohn Racing and Lola team up for Daytona prototype
Lola Cars International Ltd and Krohn Racing are pleased to announce a new partnership that will produce Lola Daytona Prototypes to race in the 2008 Grand-Am series.
The new collaboration of Lola and Krohn has resulted in a new company being formed called Proto-Auto LLC, which has purchased a Grand-Am constructors license from Ontario based, Multimatic, whose chassis will form the basis of the 2008 Lola car. Several teams have expressed interest in using another competitive chassis to those presently competing in the Grand-Am series.
Under Grand-Am regulations a totally new body is permitted for all constructors to compete in the 2008 season. This is currently underway at Lola’s state-of-the-art facility in Huntingdon, UK, where an experienced team of sportscar engineers are working in Lola’s on-site 50% scale windtunnel.
After research, design and development at Lola, Proto-Auto will operate from a facility in Atlanta, Georgia, and will manage the marketing, engineering, parts and logistical support for all teams who campaign the Lola Daytona Prototype.
The first team to take delivery of two new Lola cars will be Krohn Racing and the first car is scheduled to test immediately after the end of the 2007 season.
Martin Birrane – Executive Chairman, Lola Group
“Lola has a rich and successful history in sportscars that continues to this day. We want to build on that with this significant new project. Grand-Am is a growing series that fits perfectly with our own ambitions. Everyone at Lola is excited with this new challenge and our partnership with such a strong and competitive team as Krohn Racing. We are sure this new collaboration will open another exciting chapter for Lola Cars competing in the US.”
Tracy W. Krohn - Team Owner of Krohn Racing
“This is the second part of Krohn Racing’s goals, to form a viable business. Our first goal was to create a winning race car team. We are delighted to enter into a partnership with an esteemed company like Lola Cars.”
Roger Edmonson – President, Grand-Am Road Racing
“We welcome Lola back to Grand-Am and are impressed that their return is in partnership with one of our top Rolex Sports Car Series teams in Krohn Racing. Lola was with us at the very first Grand-Am Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2000 and we look forward to helping them write another chapter in both their Grand-Am and overall racing history in their entry into Daytona Prototype competition.”
Larry Holt - Vice President, Multimatic Inc
“We were able to fully develop the Multimatic chassis under the present Grand-Am rules, but could go no further. I was always satisfied with the mechanical aspects of the car but the aerodynamic program was undoubtedly lacking and the new rules will now allow this deficiency to be addressed. However, due to other business commitments we have taken the decision to pass the torch to the new Proto-Auto LLC partnership to exploit this substantial opportunity. I am delighted that the combination of the world’s leading race car manufacture, Lola, and the top Grand-Am Rolex DP team, Krohn Racing, has chosen to take this on. We are looking forward to assisting with component supply and ultimately competing with the updated car in 2008.”
PROTO-AUTO Q & A
1) Where will the new Lola cars be built?
The intention is that the manufacturing of majority of the components, and the final assembly of the cars will be carried out in North America.
2) The Multimatic chassis was developed within the provisions of the Grand-Am rules, how will Proto-Auto improve the cars performance?
Proto Auto has commissioned Lola cars to design the new bodywork permitted for 2008, and to look at improving the driver safety, which will incorporate feedback from Krohn Racing’s on track experience. Lola’s renowned technical facilities will also be maximized in preparation for the first testing of the car this fall.
3) Since Multimatic has not raced for two years in Grand-Am, how will they qualify for Grand-Am constructor regulations for 2008?
Under the Grand-Am regulations, Multimatic will enter a car during the 2007 season in order to meet the requirements regarding the transfer of the license to Proto-Auto.
4) How did the Lola Cars and Krohn Racing relationship come about?
Martin Birrane and Tracy Krohn were introduced at Le Mans in 2006 and discussions were opened at that time and have progressed in a positive manner ever since.
5) When will testing begin on the new Proto-Auto Lola chassis?
Testing is scheduled to begin immediately after the finish of the 2007 season.
6) Will there be any engine installations for teams other than Krohn Racing?
Yes, absolutely. Other installations will be accommodated for all manufacturers’ engines, as required, and there has already been significant interest. There is also the potential for us to produce a unique body for a manufacturer if required.