Chamberlain-Synergy’s Lola B06/10
of the most fascinating stories of 2005, among the prototypes, was
the success of the yellow Chamberlain-Synergy Lola B05/40 –
although it wasn’t even yellow when Bob Berridge, Gareth Evans
and Peter Owen took that remarkable LMP2 victory in the murk of
the Spa 1000 Kms, last April.
Gareth Evans went on to become LMES LMP2 Champion
of course – Peter Owen having missed the Silverstone race
(his wife took him to the opera in Vienna), Bob Berridge the final
one at Istanbul (he was in South Africa with the GP Masters).
was a worthy, sole champion though, having driven some admirably
calm, consistent, quick stints – and always with a smile on
his face beforehand and afterwards, and with an amusing tale to
It’s LMP1 this year though, with a brand new
Lola B06/10 AER – the third chassis ‘off the line’.
due to take delivery on February 28,” comments Bob Berridge
– for once struggling to find the words (he’s suffering
from something nasty in the throat department).
The sense of
humour is always there though… “Our test team has been
doing a great job at Sebring!”
So why the switch to LMP1?
“I think there’s a window this year
for privateers in LMP1. If you set your sights at something reasonable,
then good results are achievable. And then there’s the competition
in LMP2, which looks as though it is going to be very heavily populated.
It’s certainly going to be interesting this year, moving up
decision ‘cost’ the Chamberlain-Synergy team a guaranteed
entry at Le Mans, but they’ve submitted an application to
be on the grid again this year: oddly, that was the one event that
became a real challenge for the whole team last year. The LMES races,
although not without some odd moments, notably in practice and qualifying
at the Nurburgring, were typically rather ordered affairs –
although Gareth Evans might dispute that remark as far as Istanbul
is concerned. Guy Smith played his part perfectly there, in snatching
second place at the flag, which ensured Evans’ LMP2 title,
by a single point.
“We’ve had a close relationship with
AER for 12 months,” adds Bob Berridge, “so although
I admire what Judd has achieved, we wanted to stick with Mike Lancaster
and AER. The new engine is looking as though it is going to be very
good indeed, and I think the stature of AER will grow and grow,
and more people will realise how good they are. I’m proud
to be associated with them.”
Doubtless the Chamberlain-Synergy 2006 season will
be just as entertaining as 2005 became.