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The T180 at the Honda museum. Note the high rear wing, nose wings and the extended roll hoop (presumably for demonstration runs).

The T130/RA300 was only ever intended as a stop-gap measure so, for 1968, Lola and Honda introduced the T180/RA301. Most obvious change was the new four-valve V12 engine from Honda using newly designed block and cylinder heads that produced a claimed 420 bhp with (much needed) improved torque characteristics. The four overhead cams were driven by gears up the centre of the engine and employed torsion-bar valve springs that Honda had developed on their very successful F2 engines, as in 1967 a Honda five-speed clutch and gearbox were fitted.

The most noticeable changes to the new Lola monocoque (chassis F-801) were moving the front spring/dampers outboard, extending the tub rearwards of the cockpit and using a double wishbone system at the rear and, of course, during the year it acquired a large rear wing mounted on the rear uprights and "winglets" on the nosecone. The entire package weighed in at 41 kg lighter than the T130/RA300.

Results for the car were generally disappointing with a best of second for John Surtees in the French GP being the highlight.

During the season a second tub (chassis F-802) was built up by Len Terry at the Honda Racing premises at Slough employing magnesium in the tub instead of aluminium to further lighten the car, perhaps a strange choice following the terrible accident to Jo Schlesser in the French GP in the magnesium chassied RA302. It only raced twice and was no more competitive than the Lola-built car.

Year(s) of Construction: 1968

Total Built: 1 (F-801 - see text above for explanation of F-802)



Chassis Construction: Aluminium Monocoque
Wheelbase: 2410 mm
Track (front / rear): 1440 / 1400 mm
Suspension (front/rear): Double wishbones
Tyres: Firestone
Fuel tank: 200 litre
Weight: 530 kg (magnesium chassis?)
Transmission: Honda 5-speed
Engine configuration: Vertical liquid-cooled 90-degree V12 cylinder, DOHC 48 valve
Engine displacement: 2993 cc
Engine output (end of season): 440 bhp @ 11,500 rpm




12 May Spanish Grand Prix, Jarama John Surtees Retired
26th May Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo John Surtees Retired
9th June Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps John Surtees Retired
23rd June Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort John Surtees Retired
7th July French Grand Prix, Rouen-les-Essarts John Surtees 2nd
20th July British Grand Prix, Brands Hatch John Surtees 5th
4th August German Grand Prix, Nürburgring John Surtees Retired
8th September Italian Grand Prix, Monza John Surtees
David Hobbs (F-802)
22nd September Canadian Grand Prix, Mont-Tremblant John Surtees Retired
6th October United States Grand Prix, Watkins Glen John Surtees 3rd
3rd November Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City John Surtees
Jo Bonnier (F-802)