Tag Archives: Lola

HSCC International Trophy – Silverstone

Now celebrating it’s 50th anniversary the Historic Sports Car Club organised a two day International Trophy meeting at Silverstone last weekend of which I popped along to the second.

Jaguar E-type_7278sc

The first race of the day was led by the #91 Jaguar E-Type shared by Julian Thomas an Calum Lockie for opening 13 laps of the Turnkey GT and Sports Car Cup, but they lost ground on the driver change which happened as the course was under a full course caution that became a red flag after three further laps leaving the #75 AC Cobra 289 shared by Leo Voyazides and Andy Wolfe that had been running in the top six to inherit the win.

Formula Junior_7318sc

Sam Wilson in his #53 Lotus 20/22 led the 2nd Formula Junior race of the weekend from start to finish five cars held second place over the 9 lap race with Andrew Hibberd’s red #79 Lotus 22, seen in fourth above securing the spot with two laps to go, a late charge from James Murray secured third in his Lola.

Michael Lyons, McLaren M26, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

James Hunt won the International Championship twice when the British Racing Drivers Club organised the event with Hesketh in 1974 and McLaren in his 1976 championship winning year, last weekend Michael Lyons, seen above, drove a 1977 spec McLaren M26 to an easy victory in International Trophy ahead of Andrew Smith’s Gunston liveried March 79B.

Lola T282, Voyazides-Wolfe, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

Leo Voyazides and James Wolfe had to work a little harder, than Micheal, in their 1973 Jean-Louis Lafosse / Reine Wisell Gitanes liveried Lola T282 to get the better of the #19 Simon Watson and Andrew Kirkaldy Chevron B19 and the third place #60 Chevron B26 driven by John Burton in the 50 minute Pre 80 Endurance race.

Historic Formula 3, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

After several successful seasons running a Cooper in Formula Junior Jon Milicevic has switched to driving the #14 Brabham BT21B in Formula 3 and looks to continue his winning ways, having passed the Micheal Hibberd’s #25 Brabham on the opening lap he retained the lead to the end to finish ahead of Simon Archer’s #22 March 703 which worked it’s way up from 5th at the end of the opening lap.

Guards Trophy, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

George Tizzard’s persistence chasing down, the out of shot, #4 pole sitting Chevron B8 shared by Sandy Watson and Martin O’Connell was rewarded when he took the lead in the HSCC Guards Trophy 2 laps from home driving the #2 Gulf liveried Lenham Spyder.

Ford Falcon, Leo Voyazides, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

Leo Voyazides took a fairly easy victory third victory of the day with a solo drive in his Ford Falcon in the HSCC ByBox Historic Touring Car Championship beating the Ford Mustang driven by Warren Biggs by 14 seconds from pole position.

HSCC Historic Formula Ford 2000, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

In the final race of the day Ian Pearson won the HSCC Formula 2000 race from pole in his #9 Van Diemen RF83 while Andrew Park had to battle back to second in his white #27 Reynard SF81 after giving the place up to the #87 Reynard SF79 driven by Nelson Rowe and #33 Van Diemen RF82 of Marc Mercer on the opening lap.

Thanks for joining me on this International Trophy edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me for the next Packard edition soon. Don’t forget to come back now !


Go Turbo Or Not – Lola T711 Chevrolet #HU2

For the 1985 season General Motors ordered two new Lola chassis to compete in the IMSA GTP series against Porsche, Nissan, Mazda and the Jaguar endorsed Group44 XJR5 GTP entries.

The first chassis T710 HU1, better known as the Corvette GTP, was powered by a turbocharged 3.4 litre / 207 cui V6 and was run by Hendricks Motorsports in 1985 and 1986 winning the 1986 Road Atlanta 500 Kilometres with Sarel van der Merve and Doc Bundy at the wheel.

The second car the T711 #HU2 was powered by a normally aspirated 366cui / 6 litre V8 said to produce 800hp, which was considered insufficient to compete against the Porsches Nissans and Jaguars.

Lola T711, Paul Stubber, Silverstone Classic,

After GM decided to go the turbocharged route Lew Price’s Lee Racing acquired the car direct from Lola in time to enter it for the 1985 Daytona 24 Race.

Lew was joined by Carson Baird, Billy Hagan, Terry Labonte in the cockpit, but despite qualifying 13th #HU2 retired with a broken gearbox.

During the remainder of 1985 the cars best result was a 7th place finish for Carson and Chip Mead from 20th on the grid in the Miami 3 Hour race.

Lola T711, Paul Stubber, Silverstone Classic,

Lew took #HU2 back to Daytona in 1986 and with Jim Mullen and Matt Whetstine on the driving strength qualified 19th only to retire from the 24 hour race with suspension failure.

The car made two more appearances in 1986 retiring after an accident with Lew at the wheel from the Miami Grand Prix and retiring from the Sebring 12 Hours, where Lew, Jim and Carson qualified 10th, when the car caught fire.

Australian Paul Stubber seen at the wheel of the car, restored by Damax Engineering, in these photographs taken at Silverstone Classic is the cars fourth owner.

Thanks for joining me on this “Go Turbo Or Not” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Two Laps Down – Lola Chevrolet T400 #HU12

John Moreton qualified his #46 Perry Krinitt Lola Chevrolet T400 chassis #HU12 15th, on it’s debut, for the SCCA/USAC F5000 Championship Round at Mid Ohio run on August 10th 1975, he started and finished Heat One 8th and finished the final in 10th two laps down.

Three weeks later John qualified the same car 8th for the Atlanta Grand Prix at Road Atlanta and came home 7th again two laps down.

Lola T400, Mark Dwyer, Silverstone Classic

Over the next four weeks Krinitt Racing Ent. ditched the T400 chassis and swapped the engine, gearbox, wheels, instruments, brakes and steering rack over two a new T332 in preparation for the Long Beach Grand Prix where John qualified 17th, finished 16th in Heat One and 9th in the final again two laps down.

At Lagunna Seca John again drove the #46 T332 where he qualified 7th, finished Heat One 4th and came home 12th in the final, two laps down,
John qualified the #46 T332 10th at Riverside, finished Heat Two sixth and came home fifth in the final on the same lap as the leader.

Lola T400, Mark Dwyer, Silverstone Classic

No further racing history is recorded for today’s featured T400 chassis #HU12 until Ed Swart bought the car in 1991, after spending three years rebuilding it he raced it for six seasons before leaving it with Vin Malkie in the UK in 2002.

Ed Jowsey then raced #HU12 in 2003 until it was damaged at Snetterton, repair took over a year to complete and in 2006 the present owner Mark Dwyer bought the car and is seen at the wheel of it in these photo’s at Silverstone Classic in 2012.

My thanks to Allen Brown for confirming the spelling of “Krinitt”.

Thanks for joining me on this “Two Laps Down” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Mercedes Monday. Don’t forget to come back now !


VPJ Backup – Lola Chevrolet T400 #HU7

As in 1974 1963 Indy Winner Parnelli Jones and his business partner Velko “Vel” Miletich planned to enter teams in Formula One for Mario Andretti who would compete in all rounds of the world championship, US Formula 5000 with Mario joined by Al Unser running in all rounds of the championship and a partial USAC (Champ car) season in which Al Unser would run an Eagle until the VPJ6 Champ car that was powered by the VPJ developed turbocharged Cosworth DFX was ready while Andretti ran the a VPJ Eagle in four races.

Lola T400, Silverstone Classic,

Like many others VPJ bought Lola T400’s to replace the T332’s they had run in 1974 exclusively for Mario Andretti who was beaten to the 1974 title by Brian Redman’s slightly more reliable and consistent Carl Haas entered T332.

Lola T400, Michael Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

Like most other T400 customers the team felt their older T332’s were the better bet and today’s featured chassis #HU7 appears never to have been run by the VPJ team in a race.

Lola T400, Silverstone Classic,

The VPJ team’s other T400 #HU6 was only raced on one occasion by Al Unser at Mosport in Canada where he spun out and damaged the car in the heat, an incident that precluded him from starting the final.

Lola T400, Michael Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

Mario driving his faithful 1974 T332 #HU29 again finished the 1975 F5000 season with the same number of wins as Championship winner Brian Redman, but a couple of failure’s to finish cost Mario a shot at the title.

Lola T400, Silverstone Classic,

John Delane appears to have been the first person to have raced #HU7 after he acquired it in 1990 in 1998 the car was sold on and ended up with current owner Frank Lyons in 2007.

Lola T400, Michael Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

Michael and his mother Judy Lyons have both raced #HU7 which is seen in these photographs in the Paddock at Silverstone Classic in 2013 an at Oulton Park with Michael at the wheel in 2011 and 2013.

Thanks for joining me on this “VPJ Backup” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Mercedes Benz Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Rising Rate Improvements – Lola T400 #HU5

After the successes of the Lola T332 model which was driven to to two Formula 5000 Championshp victories in the United States by Brian Redman, in the UK by Bob Evans, in Australia with Max Stewart in a year old T330 and loosing only the Tasman Series to Peter Gethin’s Chevron B24 and the New Zealand Series to David Oxton in the Begg FM5 in 1974, Lola looked to be the manufacturer to go with in 1975.

The Lola T400 was designed with superior aerodynamics and rising rate suspension to the previous years T332 for the 1975 Formula F5000 season.

01 Lola T400_8734sc

That at least was the theory although when customers like Richard Oaten Racing, van der Straten (VDS) and McKechnie Racing Organisation took delivery of theirs they found the rising rate suspension, designed to get stiffer the more the suspension traveled, was not so easy to set up, because they did not realise that the spring rates originally chosen were not stiff enough, infact the opposite they thought the spring rates were too hard and made the handling worse by attempting to rectify the problem with softer springs that reduced the contact patch of particularly the rear tyres with the road even further.

Despite being invoiced for today’s featured T400 chassis #HU5 on February 17th 1975 Richard Oaten Racing’s driver Ian Ashley started the first two races of the 1975, British based, European Formula 5000 championship driving the two year old Lola T330 chassis #HU17.

Lola Chevrolet T400, Lance Robinson, Silverstone Classic Press Day,

Ian won with the 2 year old car at Brands Hatch from 4th on the grid and crashed out at Oulton Park, not for the last time, on the opening lap again from fourth on the grid.

Two weeks later back Brands with the T330 not repaired sufficiently after it’s accident at Oulton Park Ian had little option but to drive today’s featured T400 #HU5 from the back of the grid to 7th in a race noted for being the first to be won by David Purley in his one off Chevron B30 powered by the 3.4 litre Ford GAA V6.

Lola Chevrolet T400, Silverstone Classic Press Day,

By Silverstone the Oaten T330 had been repaired with much new metal in the form of a new T332 tub fitted with T330 suspension and a mixture of T330, T332 and T400 body work with which Ian qualified 2nd and finished 5th in a race that became notorious when the good old Auntie British Broadcasting Corporation refused to televise it because of the presence of Richard Scotts T400 #HU8 which was sponsored by prophylactic brand Durex. Richard won the race in #HU8 after it had been fitted with the older type T332 suspension after future Williams design guru Patrick Head was consulted about the T400 handling issues.

Ian’s second and final public appearance in #HU5 was at Zolder after gearbox damage to the repaired T330/332 #HU17 forced Ian in to the T400 with which he qualified 5th behind 3 other T400’s and was classified 2nd behind the van der Straten VDS T400 chassis #HU4 driven by Peter Gethin.

Lola Chevrolet T400, Silverstone Classic Press Day,

#HU5 is then said to have been abandoned as uncompetitive before the next race at Zandvoort where Ian returned to the wheel the T330 HU17 and retired with a broken big end on lap 3 after starting from pole.

The T400’s of Peter Gethin in the VDS #HU4 his team mate Teddy Pelitte in the VDS #HU11 and Richard Scott in the McKechnie Racing Durex sponsored chassis #HU8 finished that race in the top three showing uncompetitiveness was not an issue for the new T400 model once fitted with the modifications first seen on Richards #HU8 at Silverstone.

Lola Chevrolet T400, Silverstone Classic Press Day,

Ian driving the repaired T330/T332 beat Teddy Pilette’s VDS T400 at Thruxton, but did not feature in the top three again while Teddy Pilette driving his VDS T400 went on to win four of the remaining nine races on his way to securing the 1975 European F5000 Championship.

As I understand it Ian latter crashed #HU5 in testing and at the end of the season Lola rebuilt it to the same specification as Teddy Pilette’s championship winning VDS car before it was shipped to the United States where it remained until 2008.

Lola Chevrolet T400, Silverstone Classic Press Day,

Canadian Hamish Somerville drove #HU5 in New Zealand in 2011 and the car is seen above with former Prosport LM3000 driver Lance Robinson at the wheel during a Silverstone Classic Press Day.

#HU5 is currently nearing completion after a rebuild necessitated by the accident Lance had in the car during testing on the day before 2013 Silverstone Classic meeting according to Kevin McLurg.

My thanks to Kevin McLurg of Facebook, Ray Bell, Lee Nicole, kingswood, Tim Murray, Allen Brown, Mallory Dan and MCS at The Nostalgia Forum for their help

Thanks for joining me on this “Rising Rate Improvements” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Mercedes Monday. Don’t forget to come back now.


Wanted Gofer – Lola Hart THL1 #85-002

It must have been soon after I had helped my school friend Sven by cleaning the windscreen of his Ford Capri during the 1985 Willhire 24 hour race at Snetterton that I realised a year after leaving college my life did not appear to be going anywhere particularly fast and that I ought to expand my horizons when I saw a vacancy for a gopher for Carl Haas’s FORCE Formula One team being run by Teddy Meyer, in Autosport.

Without hesitation and in possession of the aforementioned experience, along with the requisite van driving experience, a clean driving licence and a B.A. Hons in European Business (2,2) from Trent Polytechnic I applied the same day thinking no one on gods great earth could possibly match my credentials… I was of course completely wrong, I got a nice letter from Mr Meyer informing me I had not been selected for interview and wishing me luck for the future, I can’t say I was not disappointed, but at least I had made one attempt, no matter how ill judged, to run away with the circus.

Lola Hart THL1, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

Late in 1984 Carl Haas secured sponsorship for his Champ Car Team which won the ’84 Championship with Mario Andretti from Beatrice Foods, part of the agreement included a deal to part fund and expansion by Haas into Formula One with Carl Haas’s FORCE being responsible for the design, Ford for the exclusive supply of a new Cosworth turbocharged V6 motor and 1980 World Champion Alan Jones who was to make his second return to Formula One since officially retiring at the end of 1981.

For some reason probably not unconnected with the fact that Haas had been the long time US importer of Lola, Andretti drove the T800 in 84 and T900 in ’85, Lola was nominated as the car’s manufacturer although they had no input to either it’s design or manufacture, ex Williams employee Neil Oatley designed the THL1 which was initially adapted to take the Hart turbocharged 4 cylinder engine while the Cosworth was readied for the 1986 season.

Lola Hart THL1, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

The THL1 appeared at the Italian, European, South African and Australian Grand Prix at the end of 1985 and retired from all but the South African event where Alan Jones qualified a season high 18th but was unwell and did not take the start.

At the start of the 1986 season the Cosworth V6 was still not ready and so Alan was forced to soldier on with the Hart motor in Brazil and Spain, he qualified 17th for the latter, but was involved in a collision with Jonathon Palmers Zakspeed which saw both cars retire on the opening lap.

Alan, 1978 Can Am2 Champion driving a Haas Lola, was joined in 1986 by Patrick Tambay who had also won Can Am2 championhships with Haas in 1977 and 1980. Like Alan he had to make do with a Hart powered THL1 for his first three starts, Patrick out qualified Alan qualifying a promising 11th at San Remo where he retired, as in Brazil, but he brought his THL1 home to a non points paying 8th from 18th on the grid and in so doing became the only driver to bring a THL1, chassis #85-002 seen in these photographs taken at Goodwood, across the finish line of a Championship Grand Prix.

The teams fortunes improved moderately with the arrival of the new turbocharged Cosworth V6 powered THL2, Alan scored a best 4th at Monza where he was followed home by Patrick in 5th, at the following Belgian Grand Prix Alan finished 6th and by the end of the season a change of management and policy at Beatrice saw them terminate their sponsorship leaving Haas with little option but to close his team down, while Alan sold his Ferrari and headed home to Australia.

Thanks for joining me on this “Gopher Wanted” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the very first Mercedes Benz 300 SLR. Don’t forget to come back now !


Monterey Brits – Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Today’s post features a selection of the British built cars seen at this years Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca by Karl Krause.

Morgan Super Aero, Rolex Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

Instantly recognisable by it’s V twin engine, sliding pillar front suspension and three wheels is this JAP powered 1930 Morgan belonging to and driven by Larry Ayres.

ERA R2A, Rolex Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

It was a great pleasure to find that the second ever ERA to be built, R2A built for the companies financer Humphrey Cook in 1934, was flying the flag in California driven by Paddins Dowling who only bought the car last year.

Lagonda V12, Rolex Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

I don’t believe Richard Morrison’s short wheel base 1939 Lagonda V12 is one of the Le Mans Team cars but that does not make it any less desirable in the authors eye’s.

Turner Mk III, Karl Krause, Rolex Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

I understand Karl Krause recently qualified for his racing licence and during the run up to the Reunion he got a run in Steve Lilves #48 1965 Turner Mk III. Karl is seen above coming down the Corkscrew one of the most famous corners in motor racing.

Triumph TR6, Bill Warner, Rolex Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

Above Bill Warner drives the 1971 Group 44 Triumph TR6 of the type the US champion of the British sports car Bob Tullis drove between 1969 and 1973 before switching to a V12 E-type Jaguar.

Lola T332, Rolex Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

Finally I understand the 1974 #5 Viceroy Lola T332 above was driven to victory twice over the Reunion week, once by owner Zak Brown and secondly by Richard Dean who in a tenuous link was the first driver to show me the ropes around Brands Hatch at the wheel of a Brands Hatch Racing School Ford Escort XR3i in 1989 when he was an emerging talent in Formula Three !

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton and Karl Krause for arranging to take and taking today’s photographs respectively.

Thanks for joining me on this “Monterey Brits” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at some of the Porsche’s at the Reunion. Don’t forget to come back now !