1972 proved to be the year that the Penske turbo Panzer dominated Can Am in much the same way as the hitherto mercurial McLarens.
The original 1966 Can Am series champion constructors Lola had started with fresh from scratch designs in 1970, ’71 & ’72, the vehicle seen here is the Lola T310 from 1972.
To overcome the under steering (push) characteristics Jackie Stewart had complained of driving the stubby L&M; Lola T260 during 1971, Eric Broadley & Specialised Mouldings developed this body work, measuring 4.527 meters / 180″ long by 2.172 m / 85.5 ” wide, in a wind tunnel to hug one of the largest Can Am monocoques ever built.
The monocoque was full width and unusually full length so that the engine could be mounted without the need of a separate steel sub frame.
David Hobbs was given the responsibility of driving the T310 for Carl Haas during the 1972 season but the car was completely outclassed, David managed just one season high 4th place and came in 7th in the final ’72 Can Am standings.
The car was sold at the end of 1972 and Jerry Hansen managed to win a minor race at Atlanta, the car ended its competition days in the 1977 5 litre/ 305.5 cui Can Am series in the hands of Bruce Langson.
Power for the T310 came from the mighty 8.1 litre / 494 aluminium Chevrolet V8, according to World Champion and twice Can Am champion Denny Hulme the motor was good for a maximum of 760 hp, regrettably this top estimated performance was completely outclassed by the conservative estimated 1000 hp plus the turbocharged flat 12 cylinder Porsche’s were kicking out at the time.
You can see and hear the T310 driven by Bobby Rahal in 2008 in this splendid little youtube clip.
Hope you have enjoyed today’s Can Am edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres and that you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !