Lola Formula One folds, leaving £6.3 million debts

The Lola Formula One Team went into liquidation last month with £6.3 million debts. Its parent company, Lola Cars, is owed £3 million.

Creditors of the abortive F1 team, which competed in just one event in 1997, met on April 28 to discuss reallocation of its remaining assets but liquidator Bartfield and Company says no solution was available to keep the team alive.

Lola Cars, one of Britain's most successful racing car manufacturers, pulled the plug on its team's entry into the 1997 Formula One World Championship following a disagreement with title sponsor Mastercard. The team's cars failed to qualify for the Australian Grand Prix, with drivers Vincenzo Sospiri and Ricardo Rosset lapping 11 seconds from Jacques Villeneuve's pole time.

Lola Cars was founded by Eric Broadley in 1958 and has had several attempts to enter the Grand Prix scene. In 1968 a Lola-designed chassis powered Honda driver John Surtees to victory in Italy, but later attempts with customer teams were less successful.