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THE LOLA T580

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Formula Ford 2000 was introduced on the 1st January 1975 as the next step up the motor racing ladder and it was intended to fit in between Formula Ford 1600 and Formula 3, both in cost and performance. Like its smaller 1600cc brother the regulations demanded a spaceframe chassis and a Hewland gearbox but racing wheels and slick racing tyres were permitted as were aerodynamic wings at the front and rear. Finally a Ford NE Series 2 Litre SOHC production engine was employed which produced 135 bhp, about 20bhp more than the 1600cc cars.

Lola's first entry into the FFord 2000 class was with the 1979 T580 and, unsurprisingly, it was based on the successful FFord 1600 T540E, it employed the same chassis and the same suspension configuration At the front were upper and lower wishbones, anti rollbar and outboard coil/dampers with a top link, at the rear reversed lower wishbone, twin radius rods and outboard coil/damper units. However the most noticeable change was a much narrower track, 48.5" (123cms) front and 50.75" (120.9cms) rear on the T580 while the T540, was 56" (142.2cms) and 55" (139.7cms) respectively.

The T580 did not make its debut until late in the 1978 season and it was driven my Lola Sales Manager Mike Blanchet and he was immediately a front runner taking five wins to finish third in the APG/Lords Taverners series begging the question of where he would have finished if he had been there from the start. The results were especially noteworthy given the strength of FFord 2000 that year with Crosslé, CTG, Delta, Reynard, Van Diemen and, not to forget Syd Fox in "The Old Nail" (an aging Palliser) all winning races. The following season saw Peter Morgan, who had had so much success in the T540E, driving a works supported T580 and in a season dominated by Delta and Reynard, the talented young driver was able to take three wins despite being hampered by a lack of finance.

Year(s) of Construction: 1978-1980

Total Built: 17
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T580 CHAMPIONSHIP WINS

YEAR
CHAMPIONSHIP
WINNER(S)
NOTES
1979 Benelux FF2000 Championship Maarten Henneman Lola T580-Ford
1984 Sabre Fabrications British Pre’80 FF2000 Championship David Jacklin Lola T580-Ford
1984 Flint Motor Engineers FF2000 Championship Martin Wood Lola T580-Ford
1985 Sabre Fabrications British Pre’80 FF2000 Championship Tony Halliwell Lola T580-Ford
1986 Phoenix Banner-Towing Pre’81 FF2000 Championship Peter Boutwood Lola T580-Ford
1986 Flint Motor Engineers FF2000 Championship Peter Ware Lola T580-Ford
1987 Universal Racing Services Pre’82 FF2000 Championship David Jacklin Lola T580-Ford
1995 URS Pre-'83 FF2000 (Pre ’81 class) Simon Loynes Lola T580-Ford
1999 URS Classic FFord 2000 (Class B) Eric Hoult Lola T580-Ford
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T580 SIGNIFICANT RACE WINS


1978

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
28th August Brands Hatch - BRSCC Mike Blanchet Allied Polymer Lord's Taveners Formula Ford 2000 Championship round
24th September Mallory Park - BRSCC Mike Blanchet Allied Polymer Lord's Taveners Formula Ford 2000 Championship Super Round - Winner Part 1
24th September Mallory Park - BRSCC Mike Blanchet Allied Polymer Lord's Taveners Formula Ford 2000 Championship Super Round - Winner on aggregate of two Parts
22nd October Snetterton - BRSCC Mike Blanchet Allied Polymer Lord's Taveners Formula Ford 2000 Championship Super Round
11th November Thruxton - BARC Mike Blanchet Plastic Padding Formula Ford 2000 race

1979

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
8th April Brands Hatch Peter Morgan BARC Ford 2000 Championship Race
3rd June Mallory Park - BARC Peter Morgan Computacar Ford 2000 Championship Race
29th July Oulton Park - BRSCC Peter Morgan Computacar Ford 2000 Championship Race
14th October Mallory Park - BARC Ray Edge Formula Ford 2000 Qualification Race

1980

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
30th March Nürburgring Maarten Hennemann Opening round of EFDA Formula Ford 2000 Euroseries
5th October Lydden Hill Norman Paine Formule Libre
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1986

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
21st September Thruxton – BARC Peter Boutwood Round of the Phoenix Banner Towing Pre '81 FF2000 Championship

1987

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
5th April Brands Hatch GP Circuit - BARC Nick Owen Round of the Universal Racing Services Pre '82 FF2000 Championship
10th May Brands Hatch - BHRC Seamus Doyle Round of the F4 Class B FF2000 Championship

1988

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
3rd July Brands Hatch - BARC Seamus Doyle Round of the F4 Class B FF2000 Championship

1992

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
16th April Brands Hatch Tim Jones Universal Racing Services Pre-'83 FF2000 Championship - Winner Class B

2000

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
17th-18th June Croix-en-Ternois - HSCC Meeting Seamus Doyle Derek Bell Trophy - Class D FF2000 winner

2008

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
10th-11th May Silverstone - HSCC Russel Love Historic FF 2000
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2010

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
15th May Silverstone - HSCC Meeeting Neil Fowler Specsavers Historic FF2000 - Race 1 - First overall and Winner Class A

2011

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
6th August Croft - Nostalgia Weekend Andrew Huxtable Historic F Ford 2000 - First Overall and Winner Class A
7th August Croft - Nostalgia Weekend Andrew Huxtable Derek Bell Trophy - Race 1 - Winner Class G
7th August Croft - Nostalgia Weekend Andrew Huxtable Derek Bell Trophy - Race 2 - Winner Class G
29th August Oulton Park - Gold Cup Andrew Huxtable Derek Bell Trophy - Race 2 - Winner Class G

2017

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
21st May Silverstone - International Trophy Jeremy Caine HSCC Classic Formula 3 supported by MB Racing Wheels Inc. URS Classic FF2000 - Race 1 - Winner URB Class
6th August Croft 'Nostalgia Festival' Historic Race Meeting Anthony Denham HSCC Historic Formula Ford 2000 with Lackford Engineering Inc. URS Classic FF2000 - Race 2 - Winner Class B
23rd September Snetterton 200 Historic Race Meeting Jeremy Caine HSCC Historic Formula Ford 2000 with Lackford Engineering Inc. URS Classic FF2000 - Race 2 - Winner Class B
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