Lola Heritage


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THE LOLA T152

The 1968 T150 had been a race winner but ultimately it wasn't enough to win the USAC Championship so, for 1969 Lola produced the T152. The heritage of the T152 was obvious looking very much like the T150 but there were a number of differences.

The T150 had employed detachable fuel panniers on the side of the tub for longer races but these were no longer employed. Contemporary photographs indicate that the T150 four-wheel-drive train to the front wheels passed down the right of the chassis and on the T152 it was on the left. Other changes included the front anti-roll bar being a blade rather than tubular and the bottom rear wishbones were now bushed at the outer ends instead of using rod-ends. At the rear the inboard end of the driveshafts used constant velocity joints in place of universal joints.
For once Lola completed their new design early and the new cars were shipped to the US at the end of January 1969 allowing for sufficient preparation and testing time and, it paid off, with Al Unser taking pole position at the Jimmy Bryan 150, the first round of the 1969 USAC Championship, although he retired in the race.

During the practise days for the Indianapolis 500 Al Unser, after setting some quick times, broke his ankle in a motor-bike accident and his brother Bobby substituted for the next two rounds with the older sibling taking third at the 500.

Following his return to competition Al was competitive on all tracks taking three wins, three seconds and a third to finish the year in second in the Championship and, if he hadn't missed three races (especially the Indy 500), perhaps he could have beaten the Champion, Mario Andretti, to the title.

T152 1969 USAC National Championship Trail Results

DATERACE/VENUEENTRANTDRIVERRESULT
30th MayInternational 500 Mile Sweepstakes, Indianapolis Motor SpeedwayBardahl
Sunoco DX
Bobby Unser
Mark Donohue
3rd
7th
8th JuneRex Mays Classic, The Milwaukee MileVel's Parnelli Ford
Bardahl
Jim Malloy
Bobby Unser
2nd
Retired
6th JulyRocky Mountain 150, Continental Divide RacewayVel's Parnelli FordAl Unser9th
19th JulyTrenton 200, Trenton International SpeedwayVel's Parnelli FordAl UnserRetired
27th JulyIndy 200 Heat 1, Indianapolis Raceway ParkVel's Parnelli Ford
Sunoco-Simoniz
Al Unser
Mark Donohue
2nd
DNS
27th JulyIndy 200 Heat 2, Indianapolis Raceway ParkVel's Parnelli FordAl UnserRetired
17th AugustTony Bettenhausen 200, The Milwaukee MileVel's Parnelli FordAl Unser1st
24th AugustDelaware 200, Dover International SpeedwayVel's Parnelli FordAl Unser12th
14th SeptemberBrainerd Heat 1, Brainerd International RacewayVel's Parnelli Ford
Sunoco-Simoniz
Al Unser
Mark Donohue
3rd
7th
14th SeptemberBrainerd Heat 2, Brainerd International RacewaySunoco-Simoniz
Vel's Parnelli Ford
Mark Donohue
Al Unser
4th
9th
21st SeptemberTrenton 300, Trenton International SpeedwayVel's Parnelli FordAl UnserRetired
19th OctoberDan Gurney 200 Heat 1, Seattle International RacewayVel's Parnelli Ford
Sunoco-Simoniz
Al Unser
Mark Donohue
2nd
Retired
19th OctoberDan Gurney 200 Heat 2, Seattle International RacewayVel's Parnelli FordAl Unser1st
15th NovemberBobby Ball 200, Phoenix International RacewayVel's Parnelli FordAl Unser1st
7th DecemberRex Mays 300, Riverside International RacewayVel's Parnelli Ford
Sunoco-Simoniz
Al Unser
Mark Donohue
2nd
Retired
     

1969 CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS

2nd Al Unser 2630 points (Also drove a King Sprint Car)
3rd Bobby Unser 2585 points (Also drove an Eagle and a Watson Sprint Car)
23rd Mark Donohue 480 points

Results courtesy of www.champcarstats.com

Year(s) of Construction: 1969

Total Built: 2

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