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THE LOLA T160

The T70 had had a successful Can-Am career, winning the inaugural Championship in 1966 with John Surtees, Mark Donohue and Dan Gurney winning five out of the six races and Surtees and Donohue finishing 1-2 in the Championship standings. 1967 saw just one win for the T70 and Surtees as the chassis, which was not designed for the ever-widening Can-Am tyres and the 600+ bhp that the 7-litre Ford and Chevrolet engines were now producing was now showing its age. Additionally the arrival of McLaren's "Bruce and Denny Show" upped the ante severely so, for 1968, Lola introduced the T160.

Unfortunately, Lola were late in delivering the cars to their customers and, although John Surtees carried out the initial testing of the car, it was almost immediately obvious that the car had problems, it was overweight, and its handling did not give confidence. Furthermore the car was designed to accept the "small-block" Chevy V8 and other teams, notably McLaren, had stepped up to the "Big-block" engines.

Surtees began to develop the car to his own ideas, most obviously fitting a high rear wing and modifying the bodywork, in fact Surtees now called his car a Lola TS160 or Lola TS1 (TS for Team Surtees) but it was to no avail as he was plagued with unreliability. Although a number of customers bought cars results were generally disappointing as the McLarens, both works and customer versions and the Chaparral were generally faster. The only results of note were a couple of thirds and fourths as, ironically, the best Lola result went to a T70, George Follmer in a MkIIIB at Las Vegas.
The following article by James Tosen originally appeared in Motor magazine.

It takes at least a year to develop a competitive sports or GT car and probably another six months or a year before it can begin to fulfil some of its designer's aims. When you consider that at present the CSI sees fit to effect major changes to its championship regulations at least annually and the rules for one season are not fixed until the previous June, it is not difficult to see why several manufacturers have tired of getting fingers burnt over Groups 4 and 6. And with Porsche having already mopped up Daytona and Sebring, Le Mans looks like ending up as a battle between the durable sophistication of the little Porsches and the brute force of the front-engined 7 litre Chevy Corvettes: no serious works entries from Chaparral, Ford, Ferrari or Lola. One reason for the present set of rules was undoubtedly to counteract some of the might of Ford but it has left Ferrari with at least a quarter of a million pounds worth of redundant 4-litre engine. Small wonder they have decided to concentrate on F1 where at least three years freedom from change is guaranteed.

Most of Eric Broadley's considerable energies at Lola are now concentrated on his new single-seater for the SCCA's 5-litre Formula A and a new car to contest the Can -Am series, all very encouraging for the British Export Council and the Back Britain movement but rather depressing for enthusiasts who have to watch most of their motor racing on this side of the Atlantic. Broadley's predicament is rather similar to that of Enzo Ferrari though his stock of redundant engines is worth rather less.
When the present Championship regulations were announced last year, reducing the Group 6 prototypes to a maximum of 3-litres capacity and Group 4 sports cars to 5-litres with a minimum homologation quantity of 50 built, Broadley managed to get the T70 homologated with a 5-litre engine. He has actually made about 90 open and closed cars and the 5-litre T70 Mk 3 is still a force to reckon with in GT racing, even though the simplest means to meet the limit — sleeving down the more easily acquired litre unit — gives the engine somewhat irregular dimensions. But Broadley feels that Group 4 will never produce its full potential until regulations governing engine size, by far the most difficult factor for the manufacturer to adjust, are allowed to remain fixed for much longer periods. Changes to Appendix J which controls body dimensions, cockpit width, windscreen height, luggage capacity, etc., are minor irritants but usually met without too much difficulty. The engine capacities of the classes within each group are decided by the Championship Regulations which are issued each spring and guaranteed only for the season immediately following. The 1969 regulations have just been released, actually two months earlier than usual, and retain the 3-litre and 5-litre limits, but 1970 is anybody's guess. Hence a brand-new car, the T160, for Can-Am where a reasonable life free from official interference is assured.
Though the T70 coupé will continue to be developed for GT racing, the growth in tyre sizes and the enormous power outputs obtainable from the 7-litre engines permitted under Can-Am regulations have put this category a little beyond its capabilities. It was originally designed in 1964 to the previous Appendix C when its 9-in. rims were considered huge. Progress since then, including raising rear wheel rim sizes to 14 in., has increased cornering forces and hence loading on suspension anchorage points while at the same time the amount of available material has had to be reduced in making room to get them in. Eventually a new chassis becomes more expedient than continued modification.

About 12 T160s are to be built at present, two for the official Team Surtees entries; the US agent Carl Haas has already sold the other 10. The general layout follows the lines set by the T 70, and indeed most other Can-Am cars, with a punt type monocoque chassis of aluminium sheet braced with steel fabrications.

With anything up to 600 b.h.p. to push the car along, strength is at least as important as weight, though at 130 lb. for the chassis complete, it is not exactly heavy — about the same as the T 70. But with most of the sheet being 16 gauge it is immensely rigid; 7,500 lb.ft. per degree is claimed, a very high torsional stiffness for a racing car and about two and a half times stiffer than the T 70. The amount of steel has been greatly reduced in the interests of simplicity although manufacture is made a little more difficult by the need to clip almost the entire structure together and rivet it in one operation.
The chassis consists basically of two side sponsons roughly quarter circular in section (containing the bag fuel tanks) and these extend rearwards to form forks which cradle the engine. They are joined by the floor and a substantial cross member which forms the back of the seat in front of the engine bay; by a wide bracing member recessed for the battery box under the driver's knees; and by a square section hoop forming the scuttle and instrument panel mounting. A rectangular tunnel extends forward of this to end in a sheet bulkhead and two steel fabricated cross-members, one supporting the pedals and the forward pivots of the lower front suspension arms and another, above, bearing the steering gear and the forward pivots of the upper wishbones. Ahead of this is ducting to carry the water-only radiator which is inclined forward exhausting air upwards just forward of the front bulkhead.

The rear pivots of the front suspension members are carried well back into the monocoque, the lower ones into a reinforced section of the cockpit bracing-member on each side of the battery and the others along the top of the forward tunnel into the scuttle hoop, which is similarly strengthened around the mounting. The suspension members themselves follow normal Lola practice with steel wishbone tubes brazed to the sockets of the lower ball joints with both balls in the uprights and Rose joints at the front upper and rear lower inboard mountings to permit camber and castor adjustment.

The engine bay is big enough to take any of the current V-8s including the new aluminium 427 cu.in. engine which Chevrolet are expected to introduce soon. The front mounting is formed by a steel fabrication rivetted into the inside rear corners of the main sponsons. From here the forks extend rearward to end in a further pair of steel fabrications. These are joined by two magnesium alloy castings, one above the gearbox supporting its two mounting lugs and the inboard ends of the single upper transverse rear suspension links, and the lower supporting the points of the reversed lower A-arms. There are two pairs of radius arms in the usual way, the lower pair extending forwards through a hole into the chassis member and the upper pair along the top of the chassis to brackets attached to the roll-over bar.
Coaxial coil spring damper units are mounted outboard all round, the dampers being the Koni double adjustable type, and there are adjustable anti-roll bars front and rear, the latter passing under the gearbox. Wheels are 15-in. diameter with 14-in. rims at the rear and 9-in. at the front. Eric Broadley stressed that these are provisional sizes pending tyre developments. Obviously, he anticipates that rims are going to get even wider, probably up to 17 in. at the rear, though their accommodation becomes increasingly difficult. Total wheel movement of 6 in. front and in. rear has been allowed on the T160 which means quite a large wheel arch. If rims do get any wider, the uprights are going to project so far into the wheels that any cooling effect gained by mounting brake discs inboard of the uprights will be lost. So, unlike the Formula A T140, which has inboard rear discs, the T160 has all four discs outboard and well inside the wheels, relying on cooling through flexible ducts. The discs themselves are ventilated, 12-in. diameter and 1.1 -in. wide with a serrated inner diameter which locates on splines in the rim of a cast bell member projecting from the hub. A locking ring is secured by screws to complete the fixing, called a Redmayne coupling after the Girling development engineer responsible. Alloy calipers are made in four pieces with four pads each and a friction material area equivalent to a two pot calipers of 2.375-in. diameter.

Two rubber bag fuel tanks hold 25 gallons each and feed a common collector tank, just ahead of the left rear wheel arch, through one-way valves. With the aluminium engine, which has dry sump lubrication, the corresponding space on the other side of the engine would be occupied by the oil tank. To keep the front radiator area to a minimum and reduce the length of oil piping, two engine oil coolers are arranged horizontally at the back one above the other over the gearbox, with air ducted in through a snorkel. Beside the top one is a gearbox oil cooler with about half the surface area. The gearbox is a Hewland five-speed with the latest modified crown wheel and pinion and the clutch operating cylinder mounted more accessibly from bosses on the gearbox casing instead of on the bell housing.
The T160 has a wheelbase of 7 ft. 10 in. and a track approximately 4 ft. 8 in. front and 4 ft. 3 in. rear, depending on rim size. Weight will be around 1,450 lb. with slight variations for the 427 or 365 cu.in. engines, and distribution about 40/60 front to rear. The body is in glass fibre by Specialised Mouldings Limited. It is not revolutionary in shape, drag being considered secondary to minimum lift and a sturdy structure. It fits compactly over the works and is designed to withstand the buffeting imposed by the rather rough Can-Am circuits. The maximum speed likely to be reached by these cars is in the region of 180 m.p.h. and to cope with this the body rises gently from the nose to form a wedge with a maximum height of in. at the point of the spoiler.

The Can-Am series (or Canadian-American Challenge Cup to give its full title) is organised by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and has been in existence for three years. Last year's winner was Bruce McLaren with Denny Hulme as runner-up, both in McLarens. This series and the US Road Racing Championship for Sports racing cars, run since 1962, are now the only remaining major competition outlets for the cars built to Appendix J Group 7 (SCCA actually wrote the Group 7 rules for the FIA). This year the Can-Am series will be run over six events in the US and Canada with prizes of up to $140,000 and total awards expected to reach $600,000.

T160 RESULTS


1968 Canadian-American Challenge Cup

DATERACE/VENUEENTRANTDRIVERRESULT
1st SeptemberRound 1 - Road America, Elkhart LakeAutodynamics Corporation
Carl A. Haas Racing Teams, Ltd.
Brett Lunger
Chuck Parsons
12th
DNF
15th SeptemberRound 2 - Bridgehampton Grand Prix, Bridgehampton, Long IslandAll American Racers
Autodynamics Corporation
Carl A. Haas Racing Teams, Ltd.
Carl A. Haas Racing Teams, Ltd.
Team Surtees
Swede Savage
Brett Lunger
Skip Scott
Chuck Parsons
John Surtees
4th
8th
DNF
DNF
DNF
29th SeptemberRound 3 - Klondike Trail 200, Speedway Park, EdmontonAutodynamics Corporation
Carl A. Haas Racing Teams, Ltd.
Carl A. Haas Racing Teams, Ltd.
American Racing Motors
All American Racers
Team Surtees
Sam Posey
Chuck Parsons
Skip Scott
Brian O'Neill
Swede Savage
John Surtees
4th
5th
8th
9th
DNF
DNF
13th OctoberRound 4 - Monterey Grand Prix, Laguna Seca RacewayCarl A. Haas Racing Teams, Ltd.
Autodynamics Corporation
American Racing Motors
Carl A. Haas Racing Teams, Ltd.
All American Racers
Skip Scott
Sam Posey
Brian O'Neill
Chuck Parsons
Swede Savage
7th
9th
15th
DNF
DNF
27th OctoberRound 5 - Eleventh Annual Los Angeles Times Grand Prix, Riverside International RacewayCarl A. Haas Racing Teams, Ltd.
Autodynamics Corporation
Team Surtees
Carl A. Haas Racing Teams, Ltd.
American Racing Motors
All American Racers
George Bignotti
Chuck Parsons
Sam Posey
John Surtees
Skip Scott
Brian O'Neill
Dan Gurney
Mario Andretti
Gary Wilson
11th
DNF
DNF
DNF
DNF
DNF
DNS
DNQ
10th NovemberRound 6 - Fourth Stardust Grand Prix, Stardust International Raceway, Las VegasCarl A. Haas Racing Teams, Ltd.
Autodynamics Corporation
George Bignotti
All American Racers
Carl A. Haas Racing Teams, Ltd.
Chuck Parsons
Sam Posey
Mario Andretti
Dan Gurney
Skip Scott
4th
5th
12th
DNF
DNS

1969 Canadian-American Challenge Cup

DATERACE/VENUEENTRANTDRIVERRESULT
15th JuneRound 2 - Labatt's 50 Can-Am, Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, St. JoviteSandburg TravelHugh Powell11th
13th JulyRound 3 - Six-Hours and The Glen Can-Am "200", Watkins Glen Grand Prix CourseBeck Racing
Marshall Brooke Doran
Leonard Janke
Brooke Doran
DNF
DNF
27th JulyRound 4 - Klondike 200, Edmonton, Speedway ParkBeck RacingLeonard Janke7th
17th AugustRound 5 - Buckeye Can-Am, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, LexingtonMarshall Brooke DoranBrooke DoranDNF
31st AugustRound 6 - Road America, Elkhart Lake, WisconsinMarshall Brooke Doran
Beck Racing
Fred Baker
Brooke Doran
Leonard Janke
Fred Baker
11th
DNF
DNF
28th SeptemberRound 8 - Michigan International Can-Am, Michigan International SpeedwayMarshall Brooke DoranBrooke DoranDNF
12th OctoberRound 9 - Monterey-Castrol GP, Laguna Seca RacewayTrident Racing EnterprisesRon DykesDNF
26th OctoberRound 10 - 12th Annual Los Angeles Times Grand Prix, Riverside International RacewayTrident Racing EnterprisesRon DykesDNF

1970 Canadian-American Challenge Cup

DATERACE/VENUEENTRANTDRIVERRESULT
14th JuneRound 1 - Labatt's Blue Trophy, Mosport ParkSmith-Oeser RacingJerry SmithDNF
28th JuneRound 2 - Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, St. JoviteSmith-Oeser RacingBob BondurantDNF
13th JulyRound 3 - Six-Hours and The Glen Can-Am, Watkins Glen Grand Prix CourseSmith-Oeser RacingBob Bondurant14th
26th JulyRound 4 - Klondike 200 Can-Am For The Molson Gold Brick, Edmonton International SpeedwaySmith-Oeser RacingBob Bondurant12th
23rd AugustRound 5 - Buckeye Can-Am, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, LexingtonDouglas Shierson Racing
O.A. Thornsjo
Smith-Oeser Racing
Chuck Parsons
Orly Thornsjo
Bob Bondurant
4th
16th
DNF
30th AugustRound 6 - Road America, Elkhart Lake, WisconsinSmith-Oeser Racing
O.A. Thornsjo
Douglas Shierson Racing
Bob Bondurant
Orly Thornsjo
Chuck Parsons
2nd
12th
DNF
13th SeptemberRound 7 - Road Atlanta Can-Am, Road Atlanta CircuitDouglas Shierson Racing
Smith-Oeser Racing
Chuck Parsons
Bob Bondurant
12th
DNF
27th SeptemberRound 8 - Can-Am Minneapolis Tribune, Donnybrooke Smith-Oeser Racing
Douglas Shierson Racing
John Cordts
Chuck Parsons
16th
DNF
18th OctoberRound 9 - Monterey Castrol Grand Prix, Laguna Seca RacewayDouglas Shierson Racing
Overhauser Racing Ltd.
Smith-Oeser Racing
Chuck Parsons
Roy Woods
Bob Bondurant
6th
DNF
DNF
1st NovemberRound 10 - 13th Annual Los Angeles Times Grand Prix, Riverside International RacewayOverhauser Racing Ltd.
Douglas Shierson Racing
Smith-Oeser Racing
Hopkins, Denner, Rupp Racing Ent.
Roy Woods
Chuck Parsons
Bob Bondurant
Danny Hopkins
DNF
DNF
DNF
DNQ
NB The Chuck Parsons/Douglas Shierson Racing chassis was updated to T163 spec.

1971 Canadian-American Challenge Cup

DATERACE/VENUEENTRANTDRIVERRESULT
13th JuneRound 1 - Labatt's Blue Trophy, Mosport ParkHird Racing Ent.
Gregory C. Hodges
Danny Hopkins
Gregory Hodges
12th
DNF
27th JuneRound 2 - Labatt Can-Am, Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, St. JoviteHird Racing Ent.
Gregory C. Hodges
Danny Hopkins
Gregory Hodges
12th
DNF
11th JulyRound 3 - Road Atlanta, Atlanta Circuit Georgia, GainesvilleHird Racing Ent.
Gregory C. Hodges
Danny Hopkins
Steve Weaver
12th
DNF
22nd AugustRound 5 - Valvoline - Can-Am, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, LexingtonWorld Racing
Hird Enterprises
Chuck Parsons
Danny Hopkins
5th
DNF
30th AugustRound 6 - Road America, Elkhart Lake, WisconsinOverhauser Racing Ltd.
Place Motor Supply
Chuck Parsons
James Place
DNF
DNF
26th SeptemberRound 8 - Molson Can-Am, EdmontonWorld RacingMerle BrennanDNF
17th OctoberRound 9 - Monterey Castrol Grand Prix (Can-Am Race), Laguna Seca RacewayWilliam Overhauser Racing
Grand Prix Racing & Devel.
John Cordts
Oliver Jones
11th
DNF
31st OctoberRound 10 - 14th Annual Los Angeles Times Grand Prix, Riverside International RacewayWorld Racing
Ron Grable?
Hird Enterprises
John Cordts
Steve Pfeifer
Danny Hopkins
DNF
DNF
DNF
NB The Chuck Parsons/Overhauser Racing Ltd chassis was updated to T163 spec.

1972 Canadian-American Challenge Cup

DATERACE/VENUEENTRANTDRIVERRESULT
11th JuneRound 1 - Labatt's Blue Trophy, Mosport ParkPlace Motor SupplyJames PlaceDNS
9th JulyRound 2 - Road Atlanta, GainesvilleOverhauser Racing
Commander Racing Team, Inc.
Chuck Parsons
Danny Hopkins<
8th
DNF
23rd JuneRound 3 - 6-Hours and The Can-Am, Watkins GlenWilliam Overhauser Racing Ltd.John CordtsDNF
27th AugustRound 5 - Road America, Elkhart Lake, WisconsinPlace Motor Supply
F&H Racing
Commander Motor Homes
James Place
Chuck Frederick
Danny Hopkins
19th
DNF
DNF
29th OctoberRound 9 - 15th Annual Los Angeles Times Grand Prix, Riverside International RacewayCommander Motor HomesDanny Hopkins15th
NB The Chuck Parsons & John Cordts/Overhauser Racing Ltd chassis was updated to T163 spec.
Year(s) of Construction: 1968

Total Built: 11

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