Rebuilding Michiel Smits' Lola T70
One of the biggest projects for Complete Motorsport Solutions in 2016 and the beginning of 2017 was the rebuild of Michiel Smits' Lola T70 after his massive freak accident at Goodwood during the 74th Members Meeting.
It was Michiel's first time driving the car, when his helmet was hit by the bonnet cover of the Lola T70 in front of him. The bonnet cover became loose and hit the cars drivers steering wheel before flying backwards and hitting Michiel in the head. He was immediately rendered unconscious and his foot was jammed on the accelerator. The Lola subsequently left the track and hit the tyre wall at Woodcote at over 150 mph. The damage to the car was extensive with the left front corner taking the majority of the impact. Michiel was left unconscious in the car with his foot trapped, where the accelerator had folded over his boot. Michiel was air lifted to hospital where the extent of his injuries were discovered which included a serious concussion and fractures to six ribs and two vertebrae. However, the accident did not diminish his desire to race the Lola. Once Michiel woke up he quickly told team manager Philip to begin rebuilding the car.
The Complete Motorsport Solutions team worked hard to restore the Lola T70. A lot of the original parts were saved, the left front corner had to be replaced but the other three corners all feature the same parts. Everything was stripped down and crack tested, repaired if necessary and then put back in.
The team were on track to have the car completely rebuilt in time for Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2016 but Michiel was still recovering from his injuries at that point in time. The Lola and Michiel were finally reunited in time for the 75th Members Meeting this year where he finished 16th in the Surtees Trophy, despite a spin on the first lap, ironically at Woodcote where the 2016 accident took place.