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THE LOLA T300
Following on from the success of the 1971 F5000 T192, which had won the Rothmans F5000 Championship with Frank Gardner and the SCCA Formula A Championship with Jerry Hansen, Frank Gardner knew that Lola's rivals, McLaren and Surtees, had caught up with the design towards the end of the year and something new was required for 1972 if Lola wanted to continue winning.
Flying back from the June Monza F5000 event Gardner had the idea that the T240 Formula 2/Formula B chassis could be a suitable base for a new car providing a lower centre of gravity and improved aerodynamics. On returning to the Lola factory Gardner sat down with a 26 year-old John Barnard and drew up the plans for a new design that would initially be called a T242 but would be renamed the T300.
The new tub was unusual with side-tanks emerging behind the front wheels and flaring out to almost the line of the rear tyres. Front suspension was conventional following the T240 design (see below) with inboard rear brakes (The T192 used outboard brakes). Modified T192 rear uprights were fitted and 13" wheels were used when 15" was considered standard wear in F5000. A notable change to the T240/T300 was the switch from front-mounted to side-mounted radiators but the wide monocoque meant they had to be mounted higher than normal either side of the driver's head with the distinctive flared ducting. A Hewland DG300 and a Chevrolet V8, initially on carburettors, completed the package.
Initial testing at Thruxton showed the team were on the right track, the new car was lighter, put its power down better and sooner and was 10km/h faster in a straight line. The new car debuted at Thruxton (entered as a T242) on the 1st August and finished 3rd after qualifying on pole. It's next two races at Silverstone (now called a T300) and Oulton Park saw a 2nd and the first victory for the design before it was written off at Snetterton.
The production T300 was hugely successful scoring almost 40 significant race wins and taking the Rothmans F5000 Championship in the UK, the SCCA Formula A Championship in the US and the Australian Gold Star Championship.
Year(s) of Construction: 1972
Total Built: 17
LOLA CARS LIMITED
T300 FORMULA 5000/1 RACING CAR
MATERIAL: Aluminium Alloy 172 Rivetted & Bonded.
TORSIONAL RIGIDITY: 29,900 LBS per degree per ft.
FINISH: Polished Alloy
TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION: Hand lay—up Glass Reinforced Polyester Resin by Specialised Mouldings Limited.
CONFIGURATION: Nose Piece and Central Body Section.
TYPE: Independent by Double Tubular Wishbones and Telescopic Double Adjustable Shock Absorbers with Co-axial Coil Springs and adjustable Ride Height.
HUB CARRIER: Lola" Magnesium Alloy Castings.
HUB SPINDLE: "Live" Spindle with Hub Bearings mounted in the Hub Carrier. High Quality Nickel Chrome Molybdenum Steel.
WISHBONE PIVOTS: Rod End Ball joints to Inner End and Spherical Joints in Housings to Outer End.
TYPE: Independent by Lower Wishbone and Upper Link with Radius Rods and Telescopic Double Acting Adjustable Shock Absorbers, with Co—Axial Coil Springs and Adjustable Ride Height.
HUB CARRIER: Lola Magnesium Alloy Casting.
HUB SPINDLE: Live" Spindle with Hub Bearings mounted in Hub Carrier. Spindle in High Quality Nickel Chrome Molybdenum Steel
WISHBONE PIVOTS: As in Front Suspension.
TYPE: Rack and Pinion in Magnesium Housing.
STEERING WHEEL: 10” dia Leather Covered.
STEERING COLUMN: Universally Jointed, Adjustable for length and angle.
TYPE: Hewland D. G. 300 5-speed and reverse.
DRIVE SHAFTS: Roller Spline Sliding Shafts.
CLUTCH: Multi plate Borg and Beck. 7.25" dia Triple Plate
TYPE: Ventilated Discs with Ferodo DSII Pads.
SIZE: 10.5"dia x 13/16" thick. Rear Brakes inboard.
TYPE: Flexible Rubber Safety Fuel cells by Marston Excelsior to F.I.A. and S.C.C.A. spec.