Lola Heritage


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THE LOLA T540

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The T540 was Lola's 1976 design for 1600 Formula Ford and it was the follow-up to the T440 which had proven hugely popular in the US although, oddly, only one chassis raced in the UK. The new chassis also sold large numbers, eighty-two, in the US but this time twenty-three were built to European specification (T540E), nine of which went to UK customers, three to Germany, one to Holland and ten to European agent Heini Mader in Switzerland.

The most obvious differences between the T540 and the T440 was that the new car bucked the trend and reverted to a front mounted radiator instead of the twin rear mounted ones used on the older car and the front suspension also reverted to outboard with a top wishbone replacing the T440's rocker arm. The rest of the suspension was standard Lola, at the rear a top link, reversed lower wishbone, twin radius rods and anti-roll bar while the front had twin wishbones and anti-roll bar, virtually all the components, except the rear uprights, were new to this design.

In the UK Peter Morgan concentrated on and won the Esso Formula Ford 1600 Championship although he also scored good results in the plethora of other Championships that were in existence then. In 1979 future F1 and Nissan Sports Car driver Julian Bailey began to show his talent in a T540E while the design was still very competitive in 1981 when Mark Peters took the BARC Junior FF1600 title.

Year(s) of Construction: 1978-1981

Total Built: T540 - 82 T540E - 23
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T540 CHAMPIONSHIP WINS

YEAR
CHAMPIONSHIP
WINNER(S)
NOTES
1978 BRDC Esso Formula Ford 1600 Championship Peter Morgan Lola T540E-Ford
1981 BARC Junior FF1600 Mark Peters Lola T540E-Ford
1981 Mid-Am Championship Formula Ford David Crawford Lola T540-Ford
1982 Mid-Am Championship Formula Ford Jim Wright Lola T540-Ford
1983 Mid-Am Championship Formula Ford Stephen Dreizler Lola T540-Ford
1984 Mid-Am Championship Formula Ford Steve Wulff Lola T540-Ford
1988 Mid-Am Championship Formula Ford Paul Kuske Lola T540-Ford
1995 Mid-Am Championship Formula Ford Phillip Smith Lola T540-Ford
2003 Mid-Am Championship Formula Ford Patrick Donnelly Lola T540-Ford
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T540 SIGNIFICANT RACE WINS


1978

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
16th April Brands Hatch - BARC Peter Morgan Esso Formula Ford 1600 Championship round
1st May Silverstone - BRDC Peter Morgan Esso Formula Ford 1600 Championship round - Winner Heat 1
1st May Silverstone - BRDC Peter Morgan Esso Formula Ford 1600 Championship round - Winner Final
7th May Donington Park - BRDC Peter Morgan Esso Formula Ford 1600 Championship round
13th May Silverstone - BRDC Peter Morgan Esso Formula Ford 1600 Championship round - Winner Qualifying Heat
13th May Silverstone - BRDC Peter Morgan Esso Formula Ford 1600 Championship round - Winner Final
28th August Silverstone - BRDC Peter Morgan Esso Formula Ford 1600 Championship round - Winner Heat 1
11th November Thruxton - BARC Peter Morgan Plastic Padding Formula Ford 1600 race
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1979

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
29th April Brands Hatch - BRSCC Julian Bailey BRSCC Formula Ford 1600 Challenge Race
29th July Mallory Park - BRSCC Julian Bailey BRSCC Dunlop Star of Tomorrow - Final
9th December Brands Hatch - BRSCC Julian Bailey Kent Messenger Formula Ford
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1981

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
7th June Lydden Hill Mark Peters BARC Junior Formula Ford Championship - Round 1
8th August Oulton Park Mark Peters BARC Junior Formula Ford Championship - Round 5
6th September Lydden Hill Mark Peters BARC Junior Formula Ford Championship - Round 6
11th October Snetterton Mark Peters BARC Junior Formula Ford Championship - Round 7
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