Lola Is Back
Back to Nazareth start Page
The Lola B99 was so impressive at Nazareth that Team Penske
bought a chassis sitting unused at Bettenhausen Motorsports.
Penske will run two cars, Penske chassis, at Rio for Al Unser
Jr. and Tarso Marques. They will "evaluate" the Lola
Casper Van Der Shoot, Hogan's engineer, is one of the reasons
for Hogan Racing's success this year with the Lola B99. His ability
to communicate with Helio Castro-Neves and make the car comfortable
for him has got to be important.
In October of 1996 I traveled to Europe and visited several
damper manufacturers: WP, Bilstein, Ohlins, and Koni. Casper
was WP's track engineer in CART for two years, working mainly
with Jim Hall's team. WP was underfunded and dropped their CART
program. Casper liked what he was doing and moved to the U.S.
and Hogan Racing.
This photo was taken at 8 am on Saturday morning. The Hogan
crew was hard at work practicing pit stops. There weren't many
cars out on pit lane yet. Their driver had been P1 in all three
practice sessions up to that point. They still had one more practice
session and qualifying to go before raceday.
Matt Swan, seen working on the inside front tire, told me,
"The pressure is on. It's fun running up front but my stomach
This is the Lola front wing shown on the car driven by Michel
Jourdain Jr., but not as successfully as the Hogan car.
Some tricky bits in front of the rear tire. You can also see
the scoop for the engine inlet. I'd guess the goal here is to
minimize the interference of the rear tire flow field on the
rear wing and to lower drag. I call these things "kick-ups."
I don't know what Lola calls them.
After I took this picture I saw Scott Pruett and his new engineer,
John Dick, standing in the next pit box looking over the Lola.
"What do you see there," I asked them.
"Those things in front of the rear tires look interesting,"
Scott said. John nodded.
"And look at the strakes in the inlet," I said.
"The Lola has three and the other cars only two. Maybe that's
a trend." I laughed. It's fun to watch the detail mods each
team generates for their cars. Within days after Nazareth I'll
bet there were models running in wind tunnels testing the new
stuff people saw there.
This is a look at the inlet to the underwing on the Jourdain
And a better look at the triple strakes. The two inner strakes
need a support to prevent vibration and failure. I've been told
these strakes do several things to improve underwing performance.
They direct air out to the side producing a pressure drop under
the car. As air leaks under each strake a vortex forms that propagates
downstream under the car creating a seal of sorts to minimize
air leaking under the car, further enhancing the pressure drop.
Those same vortices add energy (turbulence) to the flow and retard
boundary layer formation improving flow at the diffuser. The
goal is high-velocity flow under the car lowering pressure and
creating downforce with minimum drag.
Look at the Nazareth Aero page for a comparison with the Swift
and Reynard strakes. The Penske has a similar arrangement.