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THE LOLA T530

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The T530 held two distinctions, firstly it is often described as one of the, if not the, largest racing cars ever built, and it was the only customer car specifically designed for the "Center-seat Can-Am" series. Lola's previous Can-Am car, the T333CS, had been hugely successful winning the Can-Am Championship three years in succession but was now getting a little long in the tooth and there was the threat of the new car from Chevron, the B51, which had look very promising in testing and the VDS and Newman Racing teams had placed orders for it. Sadly, when the Bolton company went into liquidation, the car never raced.

The thinking behind the ground-effect design was that car had a very wide monocoque — full width between the skin boxes — to avoid the torsional rigidity problems suffered by the very narrow monocoques that were, at that time, used for ground-effect cars. Monocoque structures were incorporated in the side pods and carried the fuel cells, as well as giving increased strength to the overall chassis tub. Enhanced driver safety was a major benefit of the wide monocoque and was a high priority in Lola's design philosophy. The main ground-effects area was directly under the driver, between the skirt boxes hung on the extremity of each of the monocoque side structures. Very light body side panels incorporating a foam sandwich for strength and resistance against delamination were hung on sub-frames from the outside of the skirt boxes. Secondary ground effects areas are formed between the side panels and the skirt boxes. The carbon fibre and ceramic skins were sprung loaded to keep them on the ground. The main bodywork is of colour impregnated moulded, ultra-lightweight Polyester and Nomex "Sandwich" construction — a new technique — made by Specialised Mouldings. Upward pitch characteristics over brows are a major problem to big-bodied Can-Am cars, Brian Redman for one having a particularly nasty backward somersault accident at St. Jovite in the first T333CS. The T530's massive nose shape with adjustable splitter and radiator flaps, results from Lola's attempts to eradicate this dangerous pitch and the inboard front suspension and brake cooling ducts are all designed to assist, quarter-scale wind tunnel tests suggest satisfactory results were achieved. Brake cooling has been another big area of development on the T530 as Can-Am cars suffered from brake fade when driven really hard. Full technical details of the T530 can be found below.

The T530 was very successful in its first season winning seven of the nine rounds and giving Patrick Tambay the Championship in the Carl Haas-entered car. Several T530s continued to race in the 1981 Championship but only took one win and seven second places as the new March 817 and the Holbert CAC-2 had improved designs as ground-effect technology was increasing at an incredible rate, driven by the F1 teams.

One other new design for 1981 was the VDS designed car, the VDS001, which used the centre of a Lola T530 monocoque; the fuel cell, roll bar and engine mountings. The front suspension was T530-derived but the rest of the car, including the Tony Cicale-designed body was built at the VDS California workshop. The car one won the Edmonton round driven by Geoff Brabham which together with his win at Road America in the VDS T530, was enough to give the Australian the 1981 Championship ahead of the March 817 of Teo Fabi. Three more VDS cars were built but, although they still took their design from the T530 it is likely that there were little, or no, Lola-built components used so they have not been included in any of the Lola-related results.

Year(s) of Construction: 1980

Total Built: 10
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T530 CHAMPIONSHIP WINS

YEAR
CHAMPIONSHIP
WINNER(S)
NOTES
1980 Can-Am Championship Patrick Tambay Lola T530-Chevrolet
1981 Can-Am Championship Geoff Brabham Lola T530-Chevrolet & VDS001

T530 SIGNIFICANT RACE WINS


1980

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
24th May Golden State International Raceway – Citicorp Can-Am Patrick Tambay First win for T530 - Tambay wins opening round of Can-Am Championship on way to taking the title.
8th June Mid Ohio – Citicorp Can-Am Patrick Tambay Can-Am Championship Round 2
22nd June Mosport – The Molson Golden Can-Am Weekend Patrick Tambay Can-Am Championship Round 3
6th July Watkins Glen – Citicorp Can-Am Patrick Tambay Can-Am Championship Round 4
10th August Brainerd – Citicorp Can-Am Patrick Tambay Can-Am Championship Round 6
24th August Trois Rivieres– Citicorp Can-Am Patrick Tambay Can-Am Championship Round 7
7th September Road Atlanta– Citicorp Can-Am Patrick Tambay Can-Am Championship Round 8

1981

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
26th July Road Atlanta – SCCA Budweiser Can-Am Challenge Geoff Brabham Can-Am Championship Round 4
16th August Edmonton – SCCA Budweiser Can-Am Challenge Geoff Brabham Can-Am Championship Round 5 - Driving VDS001

1982

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
27th June Mid-Ohio - Budweiser/7-Eleven Can-Am Series Al Holbert Can-Am Championship Round 3 - Driving VDS001
  N.B. Holbert won three more rounds in 1982 but it is not known if he was driving VDS001 or VDS002 which was not Lola-based.

1983

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
2nd May Snetterton John Foulston/Brian Cocks Thundersports - Round 2
30th May Brands Hatch John Foulston/Brian Cocks Thundersports - Round 3
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1983

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
2nd May Snetterton John Foulston/Brian Cocks Thundersports - Round 2
30th May Brands Hatch John Foulston/Brian Cocks Thundersports - Round 3

1984

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
23rd April Brands Hatch John Foulston/Brian Cocks Thundersports - Round 2
2nd September Oulton Park John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 9

1985

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
6th May Thruxton John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 3
30th June Snetterton John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 5
1st September Oulton Park John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 7

1986

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
28th March Oulton Park John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 1
31st March Brands Hatch John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 2
26th May Brands Hatch John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 4
15th June Donington Park John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 5
13th July Brands Hatch John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 6
25th August Birmingham John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 7
14th September Brands Hatch Mike Wilds/Andrew Ratcliffe Thundersports - Round 8
21st September Oulton Park David Leslie/Mike Wilds Thundersports - Round 9

1987

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
17th April Oulton Park John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 1
20th April Brands Hatch Mike Wilds/Ian Flux Thundersports - Round 2
25th May Donington Park John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 3
28th June Brands Hatch Ian Taylor/Ian Flux Thundersports - Round 4
5th September Oulton Park John Foulston/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 7

1988

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
1st April Oulton Park Ian Flux/Ian Taylor Thundersports - Round 1
4th April Brands Hatch Mike Wilds/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 2
31st July Snetterton Ian Flux/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 3
29th August Brands Hatch Ian Flux/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 4
11th September Oulton Park Mike Wilds/John Brindley Thundersports - Round 5
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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION SHEET - T530 CAN-AM


CHASSIS: Fuselage-type monocoque, manufactured of aluminium—alloy sheet bonded and rivetted with side structures extending into side-pods for maximum torsional rigidity and driver protection. Full monocoque sections behind seat and from dash-panel forward incorporating integral roll over hoops. Steel tube argon-arc welded engine frame using engine as semi-stressed member. Sub-frame and suspension mounting points nickel plated.

FRONT SUSPENSION: Independent by wide-based fabricated lower wishbone and upper rocking—arm operating inboard damper co-axial with coil spring. Full adjustment for ride height, castor, camber and toe. Inboard adjustable anti-sway bar.

REAR SUSPENSION: Independent by lower parallel links, fabricated upper link and twin radius rods. Outboard damper co-axial with coil spring. Full adjustment for ride height, caster, camber and toe. Inboard adjustable anti-sway bar.

JOINTS: Precision rod-ends and spherical joints throughout, needle roller bearings at high load points.

DAMPERS: Telescopic aluminium-bodied double acting by Koni, adjustable for bump and rebound.

HUB CARRIERS: ‘Lola’ magnesium-alloy castings front and rear. Front hub carriers fitted steel lower steering swivel pins and top ball joints.

HUB SPINDLES: ‘Live’ axles front and rear manufactured from high grade nickel chrome molybdenum steel, with taper roller bearings mounted in hub carriers.

TRANSMISSION: Hewland DG300 transaxle 5 speed and reverse with limited—slip differential, driving to rear hubs via sliding roller—spline drive shafts.

BRAKES: Lockheed master cylinders with remote Girling large capacity reservoirs, Lockheed calipers and discs.
Front: Outboard grooved and ventilated discs 10.90" dia. by 1. 10" thick. Twin 4 piston calipers per upright, air-cooled from nose section via air-flowed large diameter ducts feeding brake shrouds. Provision for water—cooling.
Rear: Inboard grooved and ventilated discs 11.97" dia. by 1. 10" thick. Single 4 piston caliper per upright, air-cooled from tail section via air-flowed large diameter ducts feeding brake shrouds. Driver-adjustable balance bar.

STEERING: ‘Lola’ rack and pinion with steering-column adjustment for length and angle, also adjustable for mesh and ratio. 10.5” leather—covered steering wheel.

WHEELS: ‘Lola’ cast magnesium-alloy.
Front: 13” dia. x 11” 3-piece assembly
Rear: 15" dia. x 18” 1 piece

ENGINE INSTALLATION: Mounting to suit fuel-injected dry sump 5-litre Chevrolet Z28 engine, with cast magnesium-alloy gearbox bell-housing and steel flywheel/ring gear assembly. Adapted Chrysler starter-motor. Mild steel flowed exhaust system.

OIL SYSTEM: Dry sump alloy oil tank with Shaw aircraft-type filler cap, filter and catch tank. Aeroquip unions and piping throughout. Twin light-alloy oil coolers mounted in side pod NACA ducts.

WATER SYSTEM: Twin brass fin and tube radiators mounted in nose. Swirl-pot/ header tank, hoses and bleed pipe.

FUEL SYSTEM: Two FT3 specification foam-filled flexible rubber safety cells conforming to FIA and SCCA regulations, mounted in chassis side structures.
Capacity: 26 Imp. Galls - 31 U.S. Galls - 118 Litres
Quick-fill dry-seal fuel fillers, one-way flap valves from cells feeding combined collector tank and filter unit. Aeroquip hose and unions throughout.

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: 12V negative earth activated by Varley low weight, high discharge semi-dry battery, Master switch with combined extinguisher ‘panic’ handle. Kill switch mounted on steering wheel. Full wiring loom with rear warning lamp, and push/ pull dash switches.

INSTRUMENTS: 10,000 r.p.m. mechanical rev-counter, combination gauges for oil pressure/temperature and fuel pressure/water temperature.

FIRE EXTINGUISHER SYSTEM: 5 kg electrically discharged with separate power pack.

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS: Seat: fully shaped in G.R.P. with good shoulder and thigh support.
Seat harness: 6-point ‘Wi11ans’ approved fixing.
Mirrors: (2) lightweight racing type.

ADJUSTMENTS: Suspension as detailed previously.
Brake, clutch and throttle pedals, seat, steering wheel and gearshift all easily adjustable to suit different drivers.

BODY: Colour-impregnated moulded ultra-lightweight Polyester and Nomex ‘sandwich’ construction. Venturi side pods between spring-loaded carbon-fibre and ceramic sliding skirts, which run on low friction rollers between honeycomb aluminium panels. Steeply cambered outer sections within wheelbase, the outer body sides providing end-plate effect. Nose section incorporating adjustable splitter and radiator flaps. Cockpit and top sections, engine cover, air box and ducting. Full width rear wing mounted off gearbox, adjustable for angle of attack.

DIMENSIONS:
Overall length 182” - 4623mm
Overall width 83” – 2108mm
Wheelbase 106.5" – 2705mm
Track Front 70” – 1778mm
Track Rear 64” – 1626mm
Weight 1650lbs. - 750kg
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Below is a write-up of the T530 that appeared in Autosport magazine

Having won three consecutive SCCA Can Am Championship titles in the USA with derivatives of the T332 Formula 5000 single-seater, Lola Cars boss Eric Broadley has now produced the Huntingdon company's first pukka Can Am sports car. The 'ground-effects' T530 — powered, of course, by the Chevrolet V8 engine — has already been shakedown-tested by former CanAm champions Brian Redman and Patrick Tambay, the latter driver being strongly tipped to return to the crack Carl Haas Lola CanAm team next season having won the title for them in 1977.

The new Lola T530 features a relatively narrow chassis with ground-effect' sidepods. culminating laterally well within the outer sides of the bodywork. To gain torsional rigidity, there are further monocoque structures within the sidepods which perform the dual function of carrying the fuel cells and providing much increased strength to the overall chassis tub. To add further protection for the driver, there are also full monocoque sections behind the seat and from the dash panel forward, incorporating integral rollover hoops: the footwell construction is particularly robust. At the rear, the engine is used as a semi-stressed chassis member mounted on its own steel tube frame.

The design of the bodywork (constructed of the ultra-lightweight Polyester and Nomex 'sandwich' material) is the result of extensive testing in the well-known SERA wind-tunnel in France. where the Ligier and Renault Formula I cars have been designed. Much of the aerodynamic research was carried out by SERA's Robert Choulet and, indeed, it is noticeable that the Lola T530 bears a strong family resemblance to one of Choulet's earlier projects, the Alfa Romeo T33/3 sports-prototype. The design of the T530 is intended to put to maximum advantage the large under-surface area of a CanAm car.

The large water radiators are located in the nose of the T530, and the air flow for the inboard venturi sidepods passes through a full-width “slot” below them. The sliding skirts are located between honeycomb aluminium panels. about 12ins inside the extreme width of the extended outer body sides.

The front suspension is by very wide-based lower wishbones and upper rocking arms operating Koni coil spring/damper units mounted inboard. At the rear, there are lower parallel links with fabricated upper links and twin radius rods, the coil spring/damper units in this case being mounted outboard.

The Lockheed/Girling braking system features, at the front, outboard discs (10.9ins diameter by 1. 1ins thick) with twin four-pot calipers per upright; the front discs are air-cooled by means of big ducts feeding from the nose of the car, although provision has been made for water-cooling. The rear brakes are inboard, 12ins discs of the same thickness, and also air-cooled via large ducts but with single four-pot calipers.

The gearbox is the familiar five-speed Hewland DG300. The wheels fitted to the prototype car are 13ins diameter at the front (11ins wide), and 15ins diameter at the rear (18ins wide). Unlike the new Chevron BSI CanAm car which was announced a few weeks ago, the Lola T530 features no centrally mounted fuel tank, the foam-filled rubber safety cells (total capacity 31 US gallons, being mounted in the side structures. Twin light-alloy oil coolers are also situated in the sidepods.

Also, unlike the new Chevron, the Lola has a large, full-width rear wing, mounted on the gearbox and on extended side panels.

The prototype car is now en-route to the USA. where it is to be tested at Jim Hall's Rattlesnake Raceway in Texas by Brian Redman. whose initial experience of the car was gained at Silverstone (Tambay drove the car briefly at Snetterton). Lola Cars will be putting down a first batch of five T530 chassis. two of which will go to the Haas/Hall team. and two to Count Van Der Sträten's Team VDS for Geoff Lees. A second production run of five more cars will follow immediately.

Lola T530
Overall length: 182ins
Overall width: 83ins
Wheelbase: 106.5ins
Track (front): 70ins
Track (rear): 64ins
Weight: 16501bs

Chevron B51
Overall length: 176ins
Overall width: 84ins
Wheelbase: 108ins
Track (front): 69ins
Track (rear): 62ins
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