THE LOLA T810
All pictures copyright Lola Heritage unless otherwise stated.
The T810 looking very sinister at the Lola factory.
Up until 1986 all Nissan cars sold outside Japan were marketed under the Datsun name and the company now wanted to use the Nissan name in future and they were looking to find ways to promote this and in the US one of the choices was motorsport. It was decided that the IMSA Series would be a good pick and the California-based Electramotive Engineering company (which specialised in competition and road-tuned Nissans) was selected to run the team. With Nissan having no experience of running a GTP car in IMSA it was decided to commission a chassis to take the Nissan powerplant. This engine would be a turbocharged 3000cc V6 with a single Garrett TO3 turbocharger and Electramotive's own fuel injection, it was based on the VG30ET road-car engine.
After March declined the project it was offered to Lola who accepted and Eric Broadley and Clive Lark designed the T810, or to Nissan the GTP ZX-Turbo, which as very heavily based on the T710 which had been designed to take a turbocharged engine. Some sources claim that updated T710s were actually used but this is not supported by the Lola Chassis Log which show that just one T710 was built and four T810s, it was normal practice to detail in the Logs if a chassis was converted to a different type number. Comparisons of the pictures of the two designs show that the front suspension was changed as was much of the engine installation and in place of the usual ubiquitous Hewland gearbox a Weismann transmission was used as it was felt it had a faster gear change.
The first two cars built went to Electramotive with the second two going to the Le Mans Company in Japan for use in the All-Japan Sports Prototype Championship.
The T810 comprised a tub constructed from aluminium honeycomb with carbon fibre used in the floor for additional stiffness with a steel sub-frame at the rear for the engine/gearbox and suspension. The front suspension was conventional with upper and lower wishbones and inboard spring/damper units operated by a push-rod and a driver adjustable anti-roll bar and was mounted on a fabricated "sandwich" attached to front of the tub. The spring dampers, as can be seen in the picture below, were unusual with both angled from left to right and slightly overlapping. At the rear wishbones were used again with the blades for the driver adjustable anti-roll bar integrated into the upper wishbones, the spring/dampers were outboard and close the the wheel/tyre to keep the ground-efect venturi clear.
The 1985 season was, perhaps not surprisingly given the newness of the team and engine, largely uninspiring with a number of DNFs and a best finish of 9th at the Sears Point 300kms in the six races they competed in using HU1. The chassis was used again in 1986 taking 4th at Sears Point and 3rd at Portland with just three DNFs in nine races. HU2 was used just once in 1985 and used as the team spare in 1986 but in 1987 it was used to take the only victory at the Miami 3 Hours but amazingly, out of twelve races, there were ten non-finishes with just a fifth at Laguna Seca to add to the victory.
The Nissan GTP ZXTs continued into 1988 and 1989 but these were a number new cars constructed with a chassis designed by Trevor Harris and although externally alike are not Lolas.
Year(s) of Construction: 1985
Total Built: 4
T810 SIGNIFICANT RACE WINS
|Miami – 3 Hours
|Round 2 of the IMSA Series
Specifications (Courtesy Nissan Hertage Collection)
Overall length / width / height
4,800 - 189in / 2,000 - 78.74in / 1,016mm - 40.00in
2,705mm - 106.50in
1,571 - 61.85in / 1,530mm - 60.25in
860kg - 1896lb
VG30ET (V6, DOHC), 2,966cc
Engine Max. power
Over 478kW - 641bhp / 8,000rpm
Engine Max. torque
Over 686Nm (70.0kgm) - 506ftlb / 5,500rpm
Special A-arm & coil (front & rear)
Brakes (front, rear)
13in. 4-pod, ventilated disc
(Nissan Heritage Collection)