Lola Cars

Lola Cars International Ltd. was a racing car engineering company founded in 1958 by Eric Broadley and based in Huntingdon, England. Enduring more than fifty years, it was one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of racing cars in the world. Lola Cars started by building small front-engined sports cars, and branched out into Formula Junior cars before diversifying into a wider range of sporting vehicles. Lola was acquired by Martin Birrane[1] in 1998 after the unsuccessful MasterCard Lola attempt at Formula One.

Lola Cars was a brand of the Lola Group, which combined former rowing boat manufacturer Lola Aylings and Lola Composites, that specialized in carbon fibre production. After a period in bankruptcy administration, Lola Cars International ceased trading on 5 October 2012.[2] Many of Lola's assets were subsequently purchased by a partnership composed of Multimatic Engineering and the Carl A. Haas Automotive company.

Lola Cars
(Lola Group)
IndustryAuto racing design and production
Founded1958
FounderEric Broadley
Defunct2012
Headquarters,
DivisionsLola Composites
Lola Special Projects
Lola Aylings
Websitewww.lolacars.co.uk

Sports cars

Lola prototype
Lola's first prototype, built in 1958
Lola Mk6 GT front
Lola Mk.6
1970 Lola T210
1970 Lola T210, in which Jo Bonnier won the European 2-Litre Sports Car Championship drivers title in 1970[3]

Early days – the 1960s

Lola was one of the top chassis suppliers in the 1960s. After its small front-engined sports cars came various single-seaters including Formula Junior, Formula 3, Formula 2 and Formula 1 cars. Broadley designed Lola Mk.6 coupe fitted with the Ford V8 engine. Ford took a keen interest in this and paid Broadley to put the company on hold for two years and merge his ideas with Roy Lunn's work, giving rise to the Ford GT40. Broadley managed to release himself from this contract after a year and started developing his own cars again, starting off in sports cars with the Lola T70 and its successors (T16x, T22x) which were used successfully all over the world from the World Championship for Makes to the CanAm series, until 1973. In 2005, Lola announced that a new batch of T70 coupés, to the original specifications, would be released. These were to be homologated for historic racing and there was talk of a one-make series for the cars.

1970s

Various Group 5 and Group 6 sports cars including the T212 and T28x/29x/38x/39x series were also built, competing with Chevron, March and others. Alain de Cadenet's Le Mans 'specials' tended to be based on Lola technology.

Lola (with rebodied Formula 5000 cars) dominated the CanAm sports car series when it was revived in the late 1970s, but many motorsport fans do not consider the single-seater Formula 5000-based cars from this era to be true sports cars, despite their full bodywork and enclosed wheel-wells.

1980s and early 1990s

Lola introduced the T600/T610 range for IMSA GTP racing in the early 1980s – these were fitted with a range of engines including Cosworth, Mazda and Chevrolet, as well as the novel Polimotor engine built using composite materials. Derivatives of this car were successful for some time in IMSA and Group C racing. Later Lola Group C and GTP cars tended to be built specifically for manufacturer programmes, specifically the later Nissan Group C entries and the Chevrolet Corvette GTP program. Lola also built a car for the 3.5 L Group C formula, the T92/10, but the championship collapsed before this could be fully developed.

Late 1990s and 2000s

More recently, Lola has produced a range of sports cars for Le Mans-style racing starting with the B98/10, which was successful in the European market but less so in the USA. The B2K/10, with its additional central headlight reminiscent of a cyclops or a locomotive was more notable for its looks than its performance. While Lola has had limited success in the top class of the sport versus factory cars like the BMW V12 LMR and Audi R8, Lola has enjoyed periods of dominance in the second class (formerly LMP675, now LMP2), including championship class victories in the American Le Mans Series, although this has been threatened in the ALMS LMP2 by works-supported entries from Acura and Porsche.

A dedicated LMP675 car was built for MG in 2001, powered by a two-litre four-cylinder AER turbocharged engine. This was entered at Le Mans by the works team as the MG-Lola EX257, and was also run as the Lola B01/60 by private entrants. Later developments of this car have been fitted with assorted small V8s and the chassis was developed into recent customer LMP1 and LMP2 chassis.

An updated version of the Lola LMP2 came in 2005 with the introduction of the Lola B05/40 (also known as the MG-Lola EX264/265). It quickly became a contender in LMP2 by taking class honours in 2005 and 2006 at Le Mans with Ray Mallock Limited. It also earned several class wins in the American Le Mans Series in 2005 and 2006 with Intersport Racing, including a second-place overall finish in the 2006 12 Hours of Sebring. In 2007, extensive updates were made to the chassis, to accommodate the all-new Acura powerplant run by Fernandez Racing. In addition, an essentially brand new LMP2 prototype, the B07/40, was built to house the new AER-based Mazda engine. This new version is being run exclusively in the U.S. by B-K Motorsports.

Lola also updated its LMP1 challenger in 2006 with the introduction of the B06/10. The car was run in the American Le Mans Series by Dyson Racing and in the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans by UK-based Chamberlain-Synergy Racing. Chamberlain continued to run the machine in 2007 and 2008, while the former Dyson cars have been run off and on in the ALMS by Cytosport Racing and Intersport Racing. As with its LMP2 program, the 2007 calendar year saw Lola introduce further upgrades with the debut of the B07/10, which saw action in the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Charouz Racing and the Swiss Spirit team (using the same engine as the Audi R8).

Lola (in association with Tracy Krohn) took over the Multimatic franchise in Grand-Am's Daytona Prototype category in 2007. Krohn used his Riley cars at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2008 but switched to the new cars later in the season.

Lola also introduced a pair of closed-cockpit Le Mans prototypes in 2008, the first of which is the B08/60 running in the P1 category. The first B08/60 was raced by the Charouz team (with assistance from Prodrive) and featured an Aston Martin V12 engine to GT1 specification.

The B08/80 built to P2 regulations was first raced by Sebah Racing (and Speedy Racing in the 2008 Le Mans 24 Hours) and continued racing in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Final projects

It was announced on 21 July 2010, that Lola would be building the B11/40 to comply with the new 2011 LMP2 regulations. The car was to be a carbon fibre open-top monocoque race car featuring an all-carbon bodykit, quick-release removable rear bodywork including a stabilization fin on the engine cover which is a safety requirement of the new regulations. However, on 16 May 2012, it was reported that Lola Cars was entering financial administration.[4] The administrator, CCW Recovery Solutions, was unable to find a suitable buyer and the firm ceased trading on 5 October 2012, laying off the last employees.[5]

On 16 October 2012, it was announced in the competition press that some assets of Lola Cars were acquired by Multimatic Inc. and Haas Auto. In addition to the asset purchase, Multimatic and Haas obtained a licence agreement to use the Lola Cars name and intellectual property.[6]

Multimatic has since supplied two Lola B12/80 LMP2 chassis' to Mazda for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition. The cars were powered by turbocharged inline-four Mazda diesel powerplants in 2014 and 2015, and a gasoline-powered turbo inline-four in 2016.[7][8] All of the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship’s Prototype-class chassis were retired at the end of the 2016 season in favour of a new specification, marking the end of Mazda's use of the Lola chassis.[9]

Formula One

Surtees at 1962 Dutch Grand Prix
Lola Mk.4, the first Lola Formula 1, at 1962 Dutch GP driven by Surtees
Honda-powered cars 2012 Japan
1967 Lola T130 'Hondola'

Lola resisted making a 'works' (i.e. a factory) Formula One entry for many years, being content to construct cars on behalf of other entrants. Lola's first works entry in 1997 led directly to the financial ruin of the company.

Bowmaker and Parnell

Lola made its first foray into Formula One in 1962, supplying Lola Mk4 cars to Reg Parnell's Bowmaker-Yeoman Racing Team, with John Surtees and Roy Salvadori as drivers. A measure of success was immediate, with Surtees's car claiming pole position in its first World Championship race, but although points were often scored, wins in Championship Grands Prix eluded the team. After Bowmaker's withdrawal, Parnell continued to run the cars privately. Privateer Bob Anderson gave the Mk4 its last victory, in the non-Championship 1963 Rome Grand Prix. Consistency, however, was not to be found, and after only two seasons, Lola abandoned Formula One cars for the time being.

"Hondola" Honda RA300 and RA301

In 1967, Lola assisted Honda Racing and John Surtees with the design of their F1 car. The overweight chassis design by the engine-specialists from Honda was abandoned, and a 1966 Lola Indianapolis monocoque (Lola T90) used as the basis for a Honda-engined car. The resultant Honda RA300 was called the "Lola T130" by Lola Cars, unofficially called the "Hondola" by the press, and was sufficiently light and powerful to win the 1967 Italian Grand Prix.

BMW Formula Two cars

A number of Lola-built BMW F2 cars were subsequently entered in the F2 class of the German Grand Prix at about this time.

Embassy Hill

Towards the end of his long career, Graham Hill found it difficult to attract works drives; with a view to both finding a drive and a future as a team owner he established his own team backed by the Embassy cigarette brand. After an unsuccessful 1973 with a customer Shadow, the team commissioned its own cars from Lola. The T370 was largely based on the Formula 5000 cars of the time, and looked similar to Lola's F5000 cars, although it sported a larger airbox. The car was developed by Andy Smallman into the Hill GH1 in 1975, but the team's first in-house design, the Hill GH2, remained unraced when Hill, Tony Brise, Smallman and several other team personnel were killed in an air crash in November 1975.

Haas Lola

The Haas Lola F1 programme was extremely promising, funded by a large American industrial conglomerate Beatrice Foods and run by the highly experienced Teddy Mayer, with the promise of works Ford power, but it flattered to deceive. The handsome car, designed mostly by Neil Oatley, was barely a Lola; the name was used largely because Haas was Lola's US concessionaire although Broadley had some involvement with the car. Alan Jones was tempted out of retirement to drive it in F1 races towards the end of the 1985 season, with Patrick Tambay joining in a second car for 1986. A works Ford-Cosworth turbocharged engine was promised, but this did not materialise until 1986 and old Hart four-cylinder units were used. Car, engine, drivers and sponsors were all troublesome and the team folded after the 1986 season with most of its assets (including the factory) being sold to Bernie Ecclestone. At one point during the season, Ecclestone informed the Haas Lola team that "his driver" (Patrese) would be in the car at the next meeting; Ecclestone was primarily interested in acquiring the Ford engines as a replacement for the BMW units in his Brabhams but the manufacturer vetoed this, offering the engines to Benetton instead. He used the team's factory to build the ill-fated Alfa Romeo "ProCar" (a series for "silhouette" touring cars with F1-style mechanicals and engines).

Larrousse & Calmels

The Larrousse & Calmels programme was initially much lower-key than the previous effort. Starting from a simple Cosworth-powered car based on Lola's F3000 technologies, the French team built up a steady reputation in normally aspirated F1 from 1987 on. They attracted Lamborghini V12 power for 1989 and once the Chris Murphy-designed car was on stream, scored some good results with Éric Bernard and Aguri Suzuki. The team experienced some problems after Didier Calmels's arrest for the murder of his wife, but continued at a slightly lower key with Cosworth power again. Unfortunately, due to irregularities with the team's F1 entry in 1990, (the cars were entered as Larrousses but were really Lolas) they lost all their Constructors' Championship points – which promoted the politically well-connected Ligier outfit into a position in the Constructors' Championship that gave them significant FIA benefits.

Scuderia Italia

The Scuderia Italia programme was something of a disaster from the start. The team had done reasonably well with Dallara chassis before, but turned to Lola for 1993. Powered by customer Ferrari engines, both engine and car seemed to be well off the pace and Michele Alboreto and Luca Badoer struggled to even qualify for races. Badoer finished 7th in the 1993 San Marino Grand Prix, a race of high attrition, to score the best Lola result of the season. The team withdrew from F1 before the end of the season and partly merged with Minardi for 1994.

Unraced test cars

Lola built a number of Cosworth V8 powered test cars in 1994–95, with rumours of a Havoline-funded quasi-works Ford team. The rumour was that Cosworth V12s badged Jaguar would go to Benetton, in fact no Ford/Jaguar V12 ran in F1 or elsewhere, and Lola would inherit the Zetec V8. Allan McNish did much of the test driving, but as this was a period of instability in the F1 rules little was achieved.

MasterCard-sponsored works programme

Lola had originally intended to enter Formula One in their own right in 1998, but pressure from main sponsor MasterCard caused Lola to debut its new car one year early, in 1997. The sponsorship model was curious, linked both to MasterCard membership of a 'club', and to results – something a first-year F1 team often finds hard to achieve. A custom-built V10 engine from Al Melling was going to be fitted to the cars, which initially started racing fitted with underpowered Ford Cosworth ED V8s.

The cars had a lot of problems, the worst being aerodynamics – they had never even been tested in a wind-tunnel when they arrived in Australia, which by that point in time was unthinkable. The car was fundamentally flawed, and the lack of wind-tunnel time had made it even less competitive. Despite the car's problems, the team was confident that it could finish ahead of some of the other teams. The results were disastrous, the cars were well off the pace and were no faster than Lola's Formula 3000 cars. After only one race, the sponsors pulled out; the team turned up for the second race in Brazil but the cars did not turn a wheel and that was the end of the MasterCard Lola story. Shortly afterwards, the entire Lola Car Company went into receivership. The company was saved through the purchase and cash rescue package from Martin Birrane.

Planned 2010 F1 project

On 22 April 2009, Lola announced on its website that "Lola Group has commenced a major project comprising a full technical, operational and financial evaluation aimed at developing a car to compete in the FIA Formula One World Championship".[10]

Lola was one of several teams to lodge an entry with the FIA for the 2010 Formula One World Championship.[11] On 17 June, however, the company abandoned its plans to return to F1 after failing to secure a place on the initial 2010 entry list.[12]

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant(s) Chassis Engine(s) Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
1962 NED MON BEL FRA GBR GER ITA USA RSA 19 4th
Bowmaker-Yeoman Racing Team Mk4
Mk4A
Climax FWMV
V8
United Kingdom John Surtees Ret 4 5 5 2 2 Ret Ret Ret
United Kingdom Roy Salvadori Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
1963 MON BEL NED FRA GBR GER ITA USA MEX RSA 0 NC
Reg Parnell Racing Mk4
Mk4A
Climax FWMV
V8
France Maurice Trintignant Ret
New Zealand Chris Amon DNS Ret Ret 7 7 Ret DNS
Belgium Lucien Bianchi Ret
United States Masten Gregory Ret 11 Ret
United Kingdom Mike Hailwood 10
Tim Parnell Mk4 Climax FWMV
V8
United Kingdom John Campbell-Jones 11
DW Racing Enterprises Mk4 Climax FWMV
V8
United Kingdom Bob Anderson 12 12
1967 RSA MON NED BEL FRA GBR GER CAN ITA USA MEX 0 NC
Bayerische Motoren Werke T100 BMW M10
S4
Germany Hubert Hahne Ret
Lola Cars Ltd. United Kingdom David Hobbs 10
Ford Cosworth FVA
S4
United Kingdom Brian Redman DNS N/A
1968 RSA ESP MON BEL NED FRA GBR GER ITA CAN USA MEX 0 NC
Bayerische Motoren Werke T102 BMW M12/1
S4
Germany Hubert Hahne 10
1974 ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA 1 12th
Embassy Hill T370 Ford Cosworth DFV
V8
United Kingdom Graham Hill Ret 11 12 Ret 8 7 6 Ret 13 13 9 12 8 14 8
United Kingdom Guy Edwards 11 Ret DNQ 12 8 7 Ret 15 DNS DNQ
United Kingdom Peter Gethin Ret
Germany Rolf Stommelen Ret Ret 11 12
1975 ARG BRA RSA ESP MON BEL SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA USA 0 NC
Embassy Hill T370
T371
Ford Cosworth DFV
V8
United Kingdom Graham Hill 10 12 DNQ
Germany Rolf Stommelen 13 14 7
1985 BRA POR SMR MON CAN DET FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA BEL EUR RSA AUS 0 NC
Team Haas THL1 Hart 415T
S4 (t/c)
Australia Alan Jones Ret Ret DNS Ret
1986 BRA ESP SMR MON BEL CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN AUT ITA POR MEX AUS 6 8th
Team Haas THL1 Hart 415T
S4 (t/c)
Australia Alan Jones Ret Ret
France Patrick Tambay Ret 8 Ret
THL2 Ford GBA
V6 (t/c)
Australia Alan Jones Ret Ret 11 10 Ret Ret Ret 9 Ret 4 6 Ret Ret Ret
France Patrick Tambay Ret Ret DNS Ret Ret 8 7 5 Ret NC Ret NC
United States Eddie Cheever Ret
1987 BRA SMR BEL MON DET FRA GBR GER HUN AUT ITA POR ESP MEX JPN AUS 3 9th
Larrousse Calmels LC87 Ford Cosworth DFZ
V8
France Yannick Dalmas 9 14 5
France Philippe Alliot 10 8 Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret 12 Ret Ret 6 6 Ret Ret
1988 BRA SMR MON MEX CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 0 NC
Larrousse Calmels LC88 Ford Cosworth DFZ
V8
France Yannick Dalmas Ret 12 7 9 DNQ 7 13 13 19 9 Ret Ret Ret 11
France Philippe Alliot Ret 17 Ret Ret 10 Ret Ret 14 Ret 12 9 Ret Ret 14 9 10
Japan Aguri Suzuki 16
France Pierre-Henri Raphanel DNQ
1989 BRA SMR MON MEX USA CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 1 16th
Equipe Larrousse LC88B
LC89
Lamborghini 3512
V12
France Philippe Alliot 12 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret DNPQ 16 Ret 9 6 Ret Ret
France Yannick Dalmas DNQ Ret DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
France Éric Bernard 11 Ret
Italy Michele Alboreto Ret Ret Ret Ret 11 DNPQ DNQ DNPQ
1990 USA BRA SMR MON CAN MEX FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 11 6th
Espo Larrousse F1 LC89B
LC90
Lamborghini 3512
V12
France Éric Bernard 8 Ret 13 6 9 Ret 8 4 Ret 6 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
Japan Aguri Suzuki Ret Ret Ret Ret 12 Ret 7 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret 14 6 3 Ret
1991 USA BRA SMR MON CAN MEX FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 2 11th
Larrousse LC91 Ford Cosworth DFR
V8
France Éric Bernard Ret Ret 9 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret DNQ Ret DNQ DNQ
Japan Aguri Suzuki 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ Ret DNQ
Belgium Bertrand Gachot DNQ
1993 RSA BRA EUR SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN AUS 0 NC
Scuderia Italia T93/30 Ferrari Tipo 040
V12
Italy Michele Alboreto Ret 11 11 DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ DNQ DNQ 16 Ret 14 Ret Ret
Italy Luca Badoer Ret 12 DNQ 7 Ret DNQ 15 Ret Ret Ret Ret 13 10 14
1997 AUS BRA ARG SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA AUT LUX JPN EUR 0 NC
MasterCard Lola T97/30 Ford ECA Zetec-R
V8
Italy Vincenzo Sospiri DNQ DNA
Brazil Ricardo Rosset DNQ DNA

Formula Two / Formula 3000 / A1GP

After its limited success in the 1960s with Formula One, Lola turned its attention primarily to sports cars but also to Formula Two, where Lola became the works team for BMW. As the years went on, Lola had somewhat more success in Formula Two than it ever had in Formula One, although as March and later Ralt established themselves, Lola's involvement in the category became intermittent and less successful. The final Lola F2 was derived from a Ralt design – the Ralt RT2 became the Toleman TG280, which Toleman licensed to Lola who productionised it as the T850. When Formula Two was replaced by Formula 3000 in 1985, Lola made a "false start" with a car based on their significantly larger Indycar chassis; from 1986 they returned with a bespoke F3000 design. Lola enjoyed significant success for the next few years, competing with Ralt and Reynard, although Reynard effectively wiped the others out of the market. In 1996 the International Formula 3000 Championship became a one-make series, and Lola was awarded the contract by the FIA to build the Lola T96/50 chassis for all teams competing in the championship. The contract which was renewed in 1999 (Lola B99/50) and 2002 (Lola B02/50) before International F3000 was replaced by GP2 and Lola lost the bid to build the new chassis.

Formula Nippon ran mixed grids of cars (with Reynard dominating) until 2003, when Lola was awarded that contract as well. The Euroseries 3000 used the B02/50 from 2007 to 2009, while the ex-A1GP B05/52 chassis was introduced in 2009.

Lola succeeded in winning the largest-ever contract for single-seater racing cars in 2005, the contract for the A1 Grand Prix series. Lola built 50 identical Zytek V8-powered A1 Grand Prix cars which were leased to the national franchisees (although the teams' spare cars were recalled part-way through the 2005 season to be used for spare parts); development work on these was strictly prohibited. The cars were approximately at the F3000 level of technology.

Formula 5000

Lola T332 Mallory Park
A Lola T332 Formula 5000 car.

In the late 1960s, the SCCA's Formula A series evolved into Formula 5000 and attracted the attention of more professional drivers and teams. It was intended to be a cheap, high-powered open-wheeled racing series using relatively cheap tuned stock-block V8 engines. Lola entered this market as well, and after some interesting struggles with McLaren, Team Surtees and Chevron, came to dominate the later years of the series, producing the bulk of Formula 5000 cars throughout the 1970s – these competed in F5000 in Europe, the USA and Australasia. The cars continued when the CanAm series was revived using Formula 5000 cars as the base. Lola made a seamless switch into this kind of "sports car racing", and won five consecutive Can-Am championships.

USAC / CART / Champ Car

LolaT500
Al Unser won the 1978 Indianapolis 500 in this Lola T500-Cosworth.
WardIndy1966
A Lola champ car driven by Rodger Ward in the 1966 Indianapolis 500
BobbyRahalLagunaSeca1991
A Lola T9100 driven by Bobby Rahal in 1991

Lola had built chassis for the Indianapolis 500 as early as the 1960s – Graham Hill had won the 1966 Indianapolis 500 in a Lola, and Jackie Stewart raced a four-wheel drive Lola there. Al Unser won the 1978 Indianapolis 500 race in a modified Lola chassis. However, the marque did not make a fully fledged attack on the American open wheel market until the mid-1980s.

The revived CanAm was a fading series which collapsed in 1986, prompting Lola to move its focus to CART and the Indianapolis 500 beginning in 1983 with Mario Andretti driving a Lola for the new Newman/Haas Racing that year. Once again, Lola showed its ability to succeed in all motorsports outside of Formula One, pushing March down to one team for the 1990 CART season, and out of the series altogether by 1991. Six years after its full-time entrance into Indycar racing, Lola triumphed at Indy again, as the winning car for Arie Luyendyk in the 1990 Indianapolis 500.

The rivalry between Lola and Reynard continued in the United States as well as the European F3000 series. Reynard entered CART in 1994 and eventually almost completely displaced Lola from the market. By 1998 only the backmarker Davis Racing team was utilizing the Lola chassis, with Penske Racing using their own chassis, Newman/Haas Racing using the new Swift Chassis and all others running Reynards. However, when Penske Racing elected to abandon their proprietary chassis in 1999, they elected to run Lolas for the rest of that season, switching to Reynard for 2000 and 2001. Newman/Haas and Chip Ganassi Racing switched to Lolas in running the cars the following year. By 2001 the field was evenly split between the two cars.

Reynard's financial trouble and the fact that many of the top teams running the Reynard switched to the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series in 2002 and 2003 meant that development on the Reynard largely ceased. By 2003 Lola was the only remaining manufacturer building new chassis for the Champ Car series. For the 2007 season, Champ Car switched to a spec Panoz chassis, the DP01, as its new chassis used by all competitors. The previous Lola, the B02/00, had been in the series since the 2002 season.

Lola also produced the spec chassis for the CART Indy Lights developmental series that was used from 1993 to 2001, replacing the previous car that was essentially a modified March 85B Formula 3000 car.

Formula 3

In Formula 3, Lola partnered with Dome of Japan to produce a chassis in 2003. There they were competing with long-established Dallara, the two makers being among the last specialty race-car manufacturers in Europe. The partnership was broken in 2005, with Lola building their own chassis which won its debut race in the British series, but the Dallara near-monopoly held.

World Rally

The Lancer WRC04 with the 4G63 engine was mounted to a 5-speed semi-automatic transmission and a new all-wheel drive system co-developed by Ricardo Consulting Engineers and Mitsubishi Motors Motorsports (MMSP). The bodywork was subjected to extensive aerodynamic testing at Lola Cars' wind tunnel and significant changes to body were made after that.

Others

Lola T204
Lola T204, built in 1971 for Formula Ford

Lola built chassis for a wide range of minor categories over the years. Formula Atlantic cars tended to be derived from F2 and F3 designs, and other Lolas raced in Formula Ford, Sports 2000, Formula Super Vee and many other categories, often designed by people who went on to successful careers elsewhere in the sport. For example, Patrick Head of Williams fame designed his first cars for Broadley. There was not much profit margin in the minor-formulae cars, which tended to be built during the summer when the factory was otherwise quiet (most senior-formulae cars are built over the winter in the off-season) – but they kept staff occupied, gave designers somewhere to learn, and established relationships with drivers at early stages of their careers.

Naming scheme

1974 Lola-Chevrolet T330-2 (19808804194)
A 1974 Lola-Chevrolet T330-2 at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed

At the time of Lola's creation, their sports cars and formula cars followed a naming scheme of being numbered in order of construction, and preceded by the term Mark (Mk1 through Mk6). However, in 1964, the designations were altered to become Type (marked as simply T), with the first digit or two designating what type of car, and the final digit designating a variant of that car. This continued until 1986 when the numbering scheme was slightly altered. The T would remain, yet the next two digits would designate the year of original design, and the next two would designate what type of car it was. The final digit would again denote variants of that design. This was again slightly altered in 1998, with the T being replaced by a B, in honor of Lola's owner Martin Birrane. The numbering system would however remain the same.[13]

Since employing the new system in 1986, the final two digits stand for the following types of cars:

Therefore, a car like the T92/10 would be a 1992 Group C car, and the B03/00 would be a 2003 Champ Car chassis.

Note that the Lola former A1 Grand Prix cars currently do not have a designation that matches this scheme, and are marked simply as Lola A1GP. The evolution of this car used in the Euroseries 3000 and its immediate successor AutoGP was given the name B0552.

See also

References

  1. ^ Watkins, Gary. "Former Lola Cars International boss Martin Birrane dies aged 82". Autosport.
  2. ^ "Lola Cars International in Huntingdon ceases trading". BBC News. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  3. ^ "World Sports Racing Prototypes Results website". Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Lola Cars enters financial administration". autosport.co.uk. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  5. ^ Dagys, John (10 October 2012). "INDUSTRY: Lola Ceases Operations". SPEED. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  6. ^ Dagys, John (16 October 2012). "INDUSTRY:Lola Set To Continue Under New Leadership". SPEED. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Mazda returning to LMP2 racing with diesel power in 2014 Tudor United SportsCar Championship". autoweek.com.
  8. ^ Bakkster, touring car driver. "Multimatic/Lola has sold new P2 for USCR?". Oppositelock.
  9. ^ Schrader, Stef. "Mazda Goes Out In Flames, Turns Last 14 Minutes Of Petit Le Mans To Chaos". jalopnik.com. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  10. ^ lola-group.com (at Archive.org) – Announcement of new F1 project
  11. ^ Pablo Elizalde (29 May 2009). "Lola confirms 2010 F1 entry". www.autosport.com. Haymarket Publishing. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  12. ^ "Lola abandons planned F1 comeback". BBC Sport. 17 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  13. ^ LolaHeritage.co.uk – Numbering system information

External links

1962 British Grand Prix

The 1962 British Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Aintree on 21 July 1962. It was race 5 of 9 in both the 1962 World Championship of Drivers and the 1962 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. This was the last race at Aintree. From 1963 onwards, the race would be held at Silverstone. Scotsman Jim Clark dominated the race, driving a Lotus 25. It was considered a power track, benefitting the light and powerful Lotus and Lola cars in particular. Ferrari were still sidelined due to the Italian metal workers' strike but managed to send one car for Phil Hill.

Bruce Ashmore

Bruce Ashmore (born c. 1959 in Cambridge, England) is a race car designer who designed and developed 11 championship winning IndyCars with two different race car manufacturers, first with Lola Cars and then with Reynard Motorsports.

After graduating from Cambridge Technical University he started working for Lola Cars in Huntingdon, England. During his seventeen years with Lola he worked his way up from intern to chief designer. Bruce was a member of the design team for many race car projects and was the chief designer on the T8800, T8900, T9000, T9100, & T9200 Lola IndyCars.

Then, in 1993 Ashmore joined Reynard Motorsports to begin work on their first Indycar. Within two years Reynard overtook Lola to become the leading Indycar chassis manufacturer.

Bruce's role with Reynard Motorsport took him to the United States, where he set up Reynard North America (RNA) and later built the Auto Research Center (ARC) in Indianapolis, Indiana. ARC became the Reynard North American Headquarters. Between 1993 and 1998, he served as Technical Director for RNA and later also for ARC and then in 1999 became president of RNA.

Ashmore joined Forysthe Championship Racing CART team in 2001. After two successful years with the team where he planned the Championship title bid in 2003 he left at the end of 2002 to start Ashmore Design. Ashmore Design has had contracts with Menard Competition Technologies, Menard Engineering, RuSPORT Champ Car team, Conquest Racing and more recently with C&R Racing Incorporated. Ashmore helped Chris Paulsen design the C&R Racing United States Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown race car.

David Hobbs (racing driver)

David Wishart Hobbs (born 9 June 1939 in Royal Leamington Spa, England) is a British former racing driver. Originally employed as a commentator for the Speed Channel, he currently works as a commentator for NBC and NBC Sports Network. In 1969 Hobbs was included in the FIA list of graded drivers, a group of 27 drivers who by their achievements were rated the best in the world.Hobbs currently lives in Vero Beach, Florida. with his wife, Margaret, with whom he has two sons, Gregory and Guy. In 1986, Hobbs opened a car dealership, David Hobbs Honda, in Glendale, Wisconsin, which continues to exist today, and for which he personally voices advertisements. His youngest son, Guy, worked for Speed as a pit reporter on their sports car coverage. Hobbs was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2009.He is the grandfather of current racing driver Andrew Hobbs.

Eric Broadley

Eric Harrison Broadley MBE (22 September 1928 – 28 May 2017) was a British entrepreneur, engineer, and founder and chief designer of Lola Cars, the motor racing manufacturer and engineering company. He was arguably one of the most influential automobile designers of the post-war period, and over the years Lola had a hand in many high-profile projects in Formula One, IndyCar, and sports car racing. Broadley sold Lola to Martin Birrane in 1999.

Haas Lola

Team Haas (USA) Ltd. was an American Formula One team founded by Carl Haas in 1984 after an agreement with Beatrice Foods, a US consumer products conglomerate, which competed in the World Championship from 1985 to 1986. An agreement to use Ford engines for three seasons faltered after a change of management at Beatrice. The firing of Beatrice CEO Jim Dutt led to Beatrice withdrawing their funding of the project. The team was unable to continue in Formula One after the 1986 season. 1980 World Champion Alan Jones was coaxed out of retirement to drive the team's first car at the end of the 1985 season and on into 1986.

The team was commonly known as Haas Lola due to Haas's association with Lola Cars International, although Lola was not involved in the project. Their cars were actually designed by Haas-owned design and construction company known as FORCE. Lola however earned the team's points towards the Constructors' Championships as the team's designated constructor.

Honda RA301

The Honda RA301 was a Formula One racing car produced by Honda Racing for the 1968 Formula One season. It was introduced during the 1968 Spanish Grand Prix, the second round of the season. Like its predecessor (RA300), the car was co-developed by Lola Cars, and called "Lola T180" by Lola Cars.

The car was an update of the previous season's RA300, using the same RA273E engine. As Honda was also focused on developing the air-cooled RA302, the RA301's development suffered and Surtees only managed a best of second place in the France. Poor reliability saw him managing to finish just two other races.

The car was planned to be replaced by the RA302 at the 1968 French Grand Prix, but Surtees refused to drive the new car because of safety concerns. After the death of Jo Schlesser at that race, Surtees again refused to drive the RA302 at the 1968 Italian Grand Prix, and the RA301 was used until the end of the season.

With Honda's withdrawal from Formula One at the end of the season, the RA301 was the last F1 car raced by Honda until the 2006 Formula One season's Honda RA106.

Honda RA302

The Honda RA302 was a Formula One racing car produced by Honda Racing, and introduced by Honda Racing France during the 1968 Formula One season. The car was built based on the order by Soichiro Honda to develop an air-cooled Formula One engine. Thus, the magnesium-skinned car was forcibly entered in the Formula One race alongside the water-cooled, aluminum-bodied RA301 which had been developed by the existing Honda team and British Lola Cars.

It would only appear in one race, the 1968 French Grand Prix at Rouen-Les-Essarts, driven by Jo Schlesser. Schlesser was chosen to drive the RA302 because normal Honda driver John Surtees (who was the 1964 world champion and would finish second in that race) refused to drive it as he deemed it to be unsafe and labelled it as a "potential deathtrap". This was proven on lap two of the Grand Prix; Schlesser crashed at the Virage des Six Frères section of the circuit and the car came to rest sideways against a bank. The magnesium-bodied Honda and 58 laps worth of fuel ignited instantly, killing Schlesser and destroying the original RA302.A second RA302 was built, with slight modifications, earmarked for Surtees to drive at the next race, but when Surtees again refused to drive it, Honda decided to pull out of Grand Prix racing and did not return as a constructor until the 2006 Formula One season with the Honda RA106. In 2012, the RA302 intended for Surtees at the Italian Grand Prix was on display at the Honda Collection Hall.

Lola-Aston Martin B09/60

The Lola-Aston Martin B09/60, also known as the Aston Martin DBR1-2, is a Le Mans Prototype sports car built by Lola Cars International and co-developed with Prodrive for use by Aston Martin Racing. It is the first prototype to bear the Aston Martin name since the AMR1 in 1989. Aston Martin's internal name for the car, DBR1-2, refers to the specific DBR1 chassis which won six races in 1959 en route to clinching the World Sportscar Championship as well as that year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Lola B05/40

The Lola B05/40 is a Le Mans Prototype built by Lola Cars International for use in the LMP2 class for the American Le Mans Series, Le Mans Series, and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Developed in 2005, it was intended as a replacement for both the Lola B2K/40 and the MG-Lola EX257. It shares various structural elements with the larger LMP1-class Lola B06/10.

Lola B06/10

The Lola B06/10 is a Le Mans Prototype developed by Lola Cars International for use in the LMP1 class of the American Le Mans Series, Le Mans Series, and 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was developed in 2006 as a replacement for the Lola B2K/10 as well as the MG-Lola EX257. It shared much of its mechanical elements and design with the LMP2 class Lola B05/40, which was developed the year prior.

Lola B08/60

The Lola B08/60 is a Le Mans Prototype built by Lola Cars International. It is the first closed-cockpit sports prototype built by Lola since the 1992 T92/10. It started competition in 2008, with Aston Martin being among the first customers for their entry into the LMP1 category in Le Mans Series, albeit entering under Charouz Racing System banner.

Lola B08/80

The Lola B08/80 is a Le Mans Prototype built by Lola Cars International. It is effectively the LMP2 version of the larger Lola B08/60; they are the first closed-cockpit sports prototypes built by Lola since the T92/10 of 1992. The B08/80 is optimised for the smaller engines and lighter weight of the LMP2 category in comparison to the larger and heavier B08/60.

The first chassis of the B08/80 is used by the joint Speedy Racing Team and Sebah Automotive outfits in the Le Mans Series as well as at 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team's car uses the latest V8 engine from Judd. A second car was entered by B-K Motorsports and Mazda in the American Le Mans Series, debuting at the Petit Le Mans in October 2008, while a third B08/80 chassis was sold to Ray Mallock Ltd. and completed with parts from the team's former B05/40 to create the MG-Lola EX265C for the Le Mans Series. B-K Motorsports closed shop in late 2008 and sold their car to Dyson Racing. 2009 LMS season saw the B08/80 being the 2nd fastest LMP2, behind the Essex Porsche.

Lola B11/40

The Lola B11/40 is an open-top Le Mans Prototype (LMP) built by Lola Cars International. It is the first car to be designed to the new Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) LMP2 "low cost formula" where cars will be powered exclusively by production series engines with a cap of €75,000 on the engine and €325,000 – €400,000 for a complete car. Engine options that will be available include BMW, Ford, HPD, Jaguar, Nissan and Toyota.

Lola B2K/10

The Lola B2K/10 was a Le Mans Prototype developed in 2000 by Lola Cars International for use in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, American Le Mans Series, Grand American Road Racing Championship, and Sports Racing World Cup. It was a replacement for the previous Lola B98/10 and shared some elements with its smaller variant, the Lola B2K/40.

Lola B98/10

The Lola B98/10 was a Le Mans Prototype built by Lola Cars International for use in the International Sports Racing Series, American Le Mans Series, and 24 Hours of Le Mans. It would be the first international sports car built by Lola since they briefly left the sport in 1992 following the Lola T92/10. It would be succeeded in 2000 by the Lola B2K/10.

Lola T332

The Lola T332 was a race car designed and built by Lola Cars for use in Formula 5000 racing and made its racing debut in 1973. The T332 was successful around the globe with race victories in places such as Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States. The Lola commonly used the 5.0-litre Chevrolet V8 engine, though some competitors in Australia and New Zealand used the slightly cheaper and less powerful Australian made 5.0-litre Repco Holden V8.

Lola T600

The Lola T600 was a racing car introduced in 1981 by Lola Cars as a customer chassis. It was the first GT prototype race car to incorporate ground-effect tunnels for downforce. The revolutionary aerodynamic design of the T600 was widely imitated throughout the 1980s by International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and Group C prototype cars. The Lola T600 ran initially in the U.S.-based IMSA GT series and later in European Group C races.

A total of 12 chassis were built.

Lola T70

The Lola T70 was developed by Lola Cars in 1965 in Great Britain for sports car racing. Lola built the chassis, which were typically powered by large American V8s.

The T70 was quite popular in the mid to late 1960s, with more than 100 examples being built in three versions: an open-roofed Mk II spyder, followed by a Mk III coupé, and finally a slightly updated Mk IIIB. The T70 was replaced in the Can-Am series by the lighter Lola T160.

Proto-Auto Lola B08/70

The Proto-Auto Lola B08/70 is a Daytona Prototype sports car built in 2008 by Lola Cars and sold by Proto-Auto LLC.

It was débuted by Krohn Racing at the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami, the second round of the 2008 Rolex Sports Car Series season, after Krohn Racing has used the previous year's Riley at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Originally powered by a Pontiac 5.0 litre V8 engine, it received a new Ford "Cammer" for 2009, producing 500 hp (370 kW).

The car scored its first win at the 2009 Verizon Wireless 250 at the Thunderbolt Raceway, with Niclas Jönsson and Ricardo Zonta at the wheel.

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