Cooper, Lola's Head of Engineering took the time to answer a few of our
questions regarding their current project, the LMP1 Lola
Many thanks to Lola's Sam Smith.
Mulsanne's Corner: Assuming the B05/40 as the basis, where do you start in developing the LMP1 B06/10? Where do you begin improve upon and make specific (now to LMP1) a design that, when it was sent to manufacturing, was already at its peak form?
There are 3 aspects that make the B06/10 different to the B05/40: the
the engines, and the aerodynamics. The rules require a
of 900 kg, up from 750 kg, which imposes additional stresses on the
over bumps, under cornering and braking. The suspension has
strengthened accordingly. At the same time, the wheels and tyres are
requiring different suspension geometry, and the brakes are bigger
affects the detail design of the uprights. The choice of
require a substantial review of the installations. Although
engines such as the Mugen V8 would fall straight into the B05/40, we
chosen to increase the wheelbase to improve the packaging both of the
Judd V10, and the new turbo engines from Cosworth and AER, which
twin intercoolers as well as bigger radiators and space for the
Minimal changes are required to the transmission as the transverse
train is designed to be easily adaptable for input rpm and gear
A bespoke bellhousing adaptor is designed for each engine type, which
carries the alternator drive in the same way as the B05/40.
have received as much wind tunnel and CFD work as the original B05/40
because we are still on a steep learning curve with optimizing the
within these non-flat bottom regulations. At the same time,
targets are different for an LMP1 car because of the additional power
and the increased cooling requirements for engine and brakes had to be
MC: How similar are the aero characteristics between the LMP1 and LMP2 categories? In general, what are the concentrations for each category (drag reduction for LMP2, pure downforce for LMP1?)?
As mentioned already, the tradeoff is different, and it's not hard to
that with more power in LMP1 you can afford to pull more
the biggest factor tends to be where you are racing. The ALMS circuits
require higher downforce in general than the LMES and Le
is the lowest drag track of all. However Sebring tends to be attended
some European teams and it requires a high downforce setup, so its
that the B06/10, like the B05/40, is adaptable to both ends of the drag
spectrum. We are however limited in the regulations in the
of add-on parts we can use, so that makes the base design all the more
important to get right first time.
MC: Does the B06 have its own dedicated model for wind tunnel development?
Yes it does. It is a 45% scale model built using a
carbon fibre bodywork and rapid prototype details, as well as pressure
tapped scale radiators. Together with our F1 standard CFD
and in-house wind tunnel this means we can cover a lot of development
MC: So B06/10, open or closed top? How feasible would it be to develop both versions?
Anything is possible, as they say. In fact a closed top car
an engineering exercise which adds doors, windows, ventilation systems
and a slightly different chassis structure. This also adds
to the open car, but this can be accommodated within the extra 150 kg
Every sportscar we manufacture tends to become a bespoke item once the
combination of engines, data systems and team preferences have been
The customer is involved with the spec of their car from day one.
MC: Do you ever find the tendency to want to apply lessons being learned as you develop the B06/10 back to the B05/40?
This does not seem to be necessary yet. So far the Lola
been comfortably quicker than the competition on both sides of the
and in fact to turn the question around, it is our year of experience
LMP2 which puts us in good shape for LMP1 compared to everyone else who
are still using hybrid conversions of LMP900 cars. Our focus
moment is on the LMP1 version although updates for the LMP2 will not be
ruled out if the need is there.
MC: Is it intended that the B06/10 use the same monocoque as the B05/40? How similar will the two cars be mechanically? How much additional parts cross over will there be between the 05 and 06?
The B06/10 monocoque is the same one- only the engine mounts are
The nosebox is different because the crash test requirement is
The mechanical differences are outlined above. Many of the
such as fuel and steering are the same.
MC: Having just dealt with a 750 kilo weight minimum, is it any easier to then develop a 900 kilo design?
Additional weight budget always makes life easier, especially when
a design from a lighter starting point. Some of the weight is
accounted for in the changes, such as bigger brakes and wheels, and the
rest can be used to add durability or tuning options.
MC: And finally…Lola chassis nomenclature…B06 makes sense enough, but /10?
JC: The suffix denotes the formula. "10" historically has been the top sports prototype class, whether Group C or LMP900. In-house the final digit is also varied to denote the engine type.