THE LOLA T700
All pictures copyright Lola Heritage unless otherwise stated.
Strangely, following the success of the T500 in 1978 which saw Al Unser winning the Triple Crown, the Indy 500, the Pocono 500 and the California 500 as well as finishing second in that year's USAC National Championship Trail Lola did not cash in by building more CART cars in the following seasons, in fact it would be 1984's T700 before a new design hit the tracks. Even then only three cars were built, two going to the newly formed Newman Haas team and their newly signed driver racing legend Mario Andretti. The third car went to the Armstrong Moulding team for driver Steve Krisiloff although the car only raced at the Indy 500.
The T700 was conceived around the latest 'skirt height' regulations for 1983. The chassis is a slim aluminium monocoque of honeycomb construction with twin wishbones and inboard spring/damper units operated by a pull-rod. More unusual at the rear were reversed twin wishbones with a lower link whilst the spring damper units were mounted outboard and very upright and close to the rear wheel/tyre in order to keep them clear of the ground-effect venturi, they were reverse push-rod operated. A carbon fibre rear wing and conventional canard fins are fitted. An innovative method of chassis roll control has been incorporated on the T700, the new link system dispensing with the traditional anti-roll bars at both ends. Described as "a lighter, simpler and more consistent means of achieving roll stiffness", with a wider range of adjustment, the 'roll control link' is claimed to render normal anti-roll bars "inefficient and obsolete".
The Lola is powered by the ubiquitous 2.65-litre Cosworth-DFX unit which transmits its 700bhp output via a Hewland VG gearbox. Bodywork, by Specialised Mouldings, is manufactured in GRP and honeycomb composites.
Intense pre-season testing with Andretti, the Newman Haas team, Eric Broadley and aerodynamicist Tony Cicale saw considerable changes to the original design. The sidepods were heavily modified moving the centre of pressure by over a foot and the suspension saw considerable alterations.
Mario was on the pace from the start of the season finishing 5th at the opening race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and with seconds at the Michigan International Speedway, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Phoenix International Raceway in addition to his wins at Road America and Caesar's Palace he finished third in the 1983 PPG Indy Car World Series.
Year(s) of Construction: 1983
Total Built: 3
T700 SIGNIFICANT RACE WINS
|Road America - Provimi Veal 200
|Round 5 of PPG Indy Car World Series
|Caesar's Palace - Grand Prix III
|Round 10 of PPG Indy Car World Series