Lola's Formula One heritage

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1974: Graham Hill commissions the T370 for his fledgling Embassy-backed team. Looking very F5000, this proves a disappointment. It collects just a single constructors’ championship point when Hill finishes a lapped sixth in the Swedish GP at Anderstorp. This occasion also provides his team-mate Guy Edwards with his best result of the year, seventh.

1975: Hill and Rolf Stornmelen begin the year with the T370, but this soon metamorphoses into the Andy Smallman-penned Hill GH1 — an almost complete revamp of the 370. This shows much promise, but it is to prove a tragic season. Rolf Stommelen crashes heavily while leading on the car’s debut at the Spanish GP at Montjuich Park. The German is badly injured and five spectators are killed. Tony Brise makes his debut in this race and proves a revelation during the year with several mature drives, including a sixth place in the Swedish GP. But it is Alan Jones who scores the best result for the car with a fifth place in the German GP at the Nurburgring. Then the team is devastated by the plane crash in November that claims the lives of Hill, Brise and Smallman.

1985: Lola re-enters the fray with the big-budget, Beatrice-backed FORCE equipe and Ford. Run by Carl Haas its Hart Turbo-powered THL1 is the work of Neil Oatley, John Baldwin and Ross Brawn, and makes its debut with Alan Jones at the wheel in the Italian GP. The Australian fails to record a finish in four attempts, including missing the start of the South African race because of illness.

1986: Ralph Bellamy’s THL2 is stunning but ultimately proves a disappointment. Beatrice pulls out, Ford’s super-compact turbocharged V6 is late, and when it does finally arrive for the San Marino Grand Prix (round three) proves out of the ballpark in terms of power. The chassis is considered to be one of the best, although perhaps lacking slightly in terms of downforce, but reliability is poor. The highlight of the season is fourth and fifth places for Jones and Patrick Tambay in the Austrian GP at the Osterreichring. Jones also scores a point in the following Italian GP.

1987: Lola joins forces with Guy Larrousse. Chris Murphy designs the LC87, which proves to be perhaps the fastest, if not the most reliable 3.5-litre car of the season. The quick but accident prone Philippe Alliot scores three sixth places — in Germany, Spain and Mexico.

1988: The LC88 is swamped as the likes of Williams and Benetton go the non-turbo route. Yannick DaImes scores a brace of seventh places — in Monaco and Detroit — but the season is best remembered for Alliot’s huge shunt during qualifying for the Mexican GP.

1989: Larrousse secures the Lamborghini V12 engine. Gerard Ducarouge’s LC89 is widely praised: the team’s professionalism is noted by the paddock, yet between them, DaImes, Alliot, Eric Bernard and Michele Alboreto can garner only a single point — Alliot is sixth in the Spanish GP. The season is not helped by the jailing of Larrousse’s partner Didier Calmels for the shooting of his wife!

1990: Murphy’s 90 has increased downforce, its Lamborghini engine is lighter and more powerful and Lola has its second best Formula One season to date. It claims 11 points and finishes sixth in the Constructors’ World Championship. Eric Bernard and Aguri Suzuki are impressive. The Frenchman finishes fourth in Monaco and sixth in the British and Hungarian GPs, but his Japanese team-mate tops with a third in front of his home fans at Suzuki: The team, however, is already in trouble by this stage: bitter rival Ligier out-manoeuvres it to secure Lamborghini power for ’91 and -support from ESPO is wavering at a critical time. Murphy, meanwhile, leaves to join Leyton House.

1991: The Ford-powered L91 collects just two points in a season surrounded by controversy. Larrousse fights a running battle with the FIA over an administrative matter: his car are entered under the Larrouse-ESPO banner, yet they are clearly the work of Broadley and Lola. This is a storm in a teacup, as Bernard (sixth in Mexico) and Suzuki (sixth in Phoenix) struggle all season. Larrousse, meanwhile, is in dire financial difficulties and splits with Lola at the end of the season.

1993: Lola builds the T93/30 for BMS Scuderia Italia. This is to run with the previous year’s V12 Ferrari unit, but the project proves a disaster. Alboreto and Luca Badoer are the unfortunate drivers as the season ends with both sides involved blaming each other.

Lola in Formula One

149 Grands Prix

245 Starts

45 points

1 pole position

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