THE LOLA T770
All pictures copyright Lola Heritage unless otherwise stated.
T770 in the Lola factory, note the taped up sliding skirts.
The T770 was a full ground-effect design with venturis in the sidepods and sliding skirts whilst the suspension, front and rear, was inboard to keep the airflow unblocked. This was the early days of ground-effect technology and it would prove particularly problematic in Formula 3 with several notable manufacturers other than Lola, including March and Chevron, struggling against the car that got it right, the Ralt RT3. This was the third design to use the same chassis and suspension configuration, the other two being the Formula Atlantic T760 and the T720 Super Vee.
The two cars went to Kores Racing in France and were fitted with the Renault 20TS Gordini engine, the same power unit as was used by Alain Prost in his Martini MK27 that would win the European F3 Championship that year. The drivers would be Alain Hubert in HU1 and Philippe Alliot in HU2.
Their short season would be a nightmare, the team's first race was Round 4 of the European F3 Championship at Magny Cours with just Alliot competing, he qualified seventeenth out of twenty-six cars and retired. Race two was Round 3 of the French F3 Championship with Alliot finishing third but with just seven cars in the race and a qualifying time over 1.5 seconds behind Prost on pole this was nothing to be happy about. Round 5 of the European F3 Championship at Donington saw Alliot qualify sixteenth and have an accident on lap 1. The final two races for the team which saw Hubert out in HU1 were the Monaco Grand Prix support race and Round 8 of the European F3 Championship at Monza where, in a final indignity, both cars failed to qualify in both races.
From the letter below it would seem the idea was to run a Vega-engined T770 works car in the UK but, presumably because of the problems with the Kores cars, this never came to fruition and Mike Blanchet raced a T670-Vega instead.
With a very good Renault engine and a future Formula 1 driver (in a Lola designed and built car) of the calibre of Philippe Alliot at the wheel the T770 was hopelessly uncompetitive and must go down as one of Lola's biggest mistakes at least until the T97/30 (the 1997 Mastercard F1 car) appeared in its one race!
Year(s) of Construction: 1979
Total Built: 2
Two shots of Philippe Alliot in the Kores Racing T770/HU2 and Mike Blanchet testing the car at the beginning of the year at Paul Ricard. The taped up skirts on the sidepod do not bode well.