2011 Lola B11/83 - HU05
2011 Lola B11/83 - HU05
- One of five B11-series prototypes constructed, and one of only two configured as a coupe.
- Delivered new to Level 5 Motorsports in HPD-powered, 2.8 litre V6 Turbo form in early 2011.
- Driven to 10th place overall, and 3rd in LMP2, in the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours.
- Driven to 30th place overall, and 8th in LMP2, in the 2012 Sebring 12 Hours.
- Completely rebuilt, including full crack testing, by leading Historic race team BBM Sport.
- Fitted with a period correct, zero-hour Judd HK V8 engine and freshly rebuilt Xtrac gearbox.
- Ideally suited to Masters Endurance Legends and HSR events.
- Accompanied by a small spares package, including front bodywork and carbon-fibre crash box.
Mindful of the need to embrace new technologies, enhance the sport’s environmental credentials and, crucially, control costs, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest introduced a raft of changes for 2011 which heralded the start of a new era for long distance sports car racing. These impacted upon Prototype and GT divisions alike and included the introduction of hybrid technology in the top-level LMP1 category for the first time as well as the replacement of the ailing GT1 class by the new, more cost conscious GTE Pro and GTE Am categories.
However, it was in the highly popular LMP2 class that arguably the most prescriptive changes were made. Any cars constructed under the new regulations would henceforth be subject to an ex-factory cost cap for both chassis and engine. Furthermore, a minimum engine life of 30 hours would be mandated for 2011; this figure increasing to 40 hours for 2012 and then 50 hours for the 2013 season.
Relying heavily on their highly successful, triple Le Mans Class-winning B05/40 chassis for inspiration, Lola was the first LMP2 manufacturer to produce a car compliant with the new regulations; their B11-series prototype having been announced as early as June 2010. Unsurprisingly, Lola Chief Designer Julian Sole opted for a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis for his new charge, although ingeniously this was available in both open and coupe form - and with a variety of different engine installations - to maximise the car’s potential sales appeal. Conventional double wishbone, push-rod actuated suspension was employed both front and rear, whilst the Lola-designed six-speed gearbox was also compatible with multiple different pneumatic or hydraulic engagement systems.
The car offered here, chassis HU05, is one of two B11/83 chassis ordered by Madison, Wisconsin-based Level 5 Motorsports in advance of a 2011 race season which would encompass selected events in both the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and American Le Mans Series. Duly configured with a Honda-derived, HPD-built 2.8-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, the car first turned a wheel in anger at the official test day for the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours in late April, where it was driven by team owner Scott Tucker, 1993 Le Mans winner Christophe Bouchut and former Daytona 24 Hours victor Joao Barbosa, finishing 31st overall.
Level 5 duly returned to La Sarthe in June for the 79th edition of the famous 24-Hour race; one which would, incredibly, represent the car’s competitive debut. Retaining the same driver line up as at the test day, the team qualified in 28th position overall and, once again, eleventh fastest in class. In the race, HU05 performed faultlessly and, as several of the more fancied class front-runners hit trouble, it lay a highly creditable third place in class by Sunday morning. Incredibly, it held this position to the end of the race, eventually crossing the line in tenth place overall to cap a memorable maiden outing for the car. Following Le Mans, the car remained in Europe; the team’s intention being to contest the 6 Hours of Imola in early July. However, the proximity of the event to Le Mans rendered the logistics of the situation impossible, and the team opted to race their sister B11/43 in the event instead; this marking the end of a highly successful - if somewhat truncated - 2011 season for HU05.
For 2012, Level 5 took delivery of two new HPD LMP2 cars; the squad subsequently electing to lease HU05 to nascent ALMS team Black Swan Racing for selected events in that year’s Championship instead. Driven by team owner Tim Pappas, fellow gentleman driver Bret Curtis and former double Grand-Am Daytona Prototype Champion Jon Fogarty, the car made its debut with its new team in the season-opening Sebring 12 Hours, finishing a respectable eighth in LMP2 - and 30th overall - at the notoriously gruelling Floridian track.
The car made its third and, remarkably, final race start just one month later at the ALMS-sanctioned 2 Hours of Long Beach. Driven on this occasion by Pappas and young Dutch Sports Car ace Jeroen Bleekemolen, the pair qualified in an excellent fifth place; second only in the LMP2 class - somewhat ironically - to the new Level 5 HPD of Tucker and Bouchut. However, such promise proved to be short-lived, with Bleekemolen making a poor start and subsequently retiring the car on the first lap following unavoidable contact with two slower GT class competitors.
Following the conclusion of its contemporary career, HU05 was retained by Level 5 until their liquidation in 2017 and was acquired shortly thereafter by the vendor. Recently entrusted to leading Historic Sports Prototype team BBM Sport of Daventry, UK, the car has since benefitted from a complete rebuild, including crack testing, re-plating and reassembly of all appropriate components and the renewal of any time- or mileage-expired items such as its fuel cell, wiring loom, ECUs and battery. Significantly, the car has also been fitted with a new, period-correct, zero-mile Judd HK V8 engine in place of the complex and potentially costly HPD unit, and benefits from a newly rebuilt six-speed Xtrac sequential gearbox to which a new pneumatic paddleshift system has been mated. Finally, new Multimatic dampers have been fitted, and both the fire extinguisher system and seat belts renewed.
Immaculately presented in its original 2011 livery, this represents a rare opportunity to acquire a car with genuine Le Mans Class podium-finishing pedigree, not to mention one ideally suited to the Masters Endurance Legends and HSR events presently proving so popular on either side of the Atlantic. Boasting comparatively modest mileage on its chassis and suspension components and none on either its engine or drivetrain, HU05 represents a highly competitive and cost-effective prospect indeed, and is ready for an immediate return to the track in the hands of its fortunate new owner.
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|Item Location:||Daventry, UK|
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