Binnie Lola-Zytek Shakedown
As announced here last week, Sam Hancock shook down the Binnie Motorsports Lola B05/40 at Snetterton yesterday (January 23), the car now fitted with a Zytek V8.

”We started late because of all things our water heater to pre-heat the engine packed up, and kept blowing the trips in the garage and turning all the power off,” reports Team Manager Derek Kemp. “It took ages getting the water temperature up to the required 50 degrees before we could fire the engine. We had propane heaters and hot air guns all over the place trying to warm it up.”

Snetterton was as cold yesterday as you’d expect, in January.

“When we did finally did get going we didn't manage many laps due to a couple of technical problems, so all being well we are returning to Snetterton on Friday, which is the next time the circuit is available to us.”

However, Sam Hancock did experience the car-engine combination working properly for a few laps, and reported that "it’s awesome."

He raced the Binnie Lola (with its NME engine) in the LMES last year, and the Jota Zytek LMP1 car at Istanbul last November (and the Intersport Lola AER at Le Mans), so he's well-qualified to judge these modern prototypes.

"You feel part of something very special whenever you drive one of these cars," said a very happy Sam Hanock, the morning after the test. "We had small, niggly problems yesterday, but only what you'd expect first time out with a new installation.

"When it ran as it should do, I was over the moon with the performance of the engine, and I can't wait for Bill (Binnie) to drive it. The Zytek engine delivers a lot of power, in a very linear way. Bill is going to feel as though he's stepped up a class."

In a way though, even Hancock has stepped 'up' a class - because, as he explains, "the LMP2 version has got more power than the LMP1 Zytek had last year, because of the different restrictors. It feels like a gust of wind behind you: it's definitely enough to feel it."

Sam Hancock will be back in the Binnie Lola Zytek on Friday. He hasn't confirmed his plans for 2006, but as long as he's in a prototype, he's going to be a happy man.

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