THE LOLA T91/50
All pictures copyright Lola Heritage unless otherwise stated.
The T91/50 at the Lola factory.
1990 had been an incredibly successful year for Lola in F3000 taking both the Japanese and European Championships and the T90/50 winning all ten rounds in Japan with Kazuyoshi Hoshino taking the Championship whilst in Europe it was seven wins and Érik Comas as Champion. 1991 however would be a very different story, although Ukyo Katayama won the Japanese Championship all his victories were in a T90/50 with the T91/50 failing to win at all and it was the same story in Europe with no wins and the highest placed Lola T91/50 driver fifth in the final standings.
Mark Williams continued as the designer of the new car following on from his work on the T89/50 and the T90/50 and although visually very similar to the 1990 design but was apparently 80% new. The monocoque was redesigned to make it more comfortable, 19mm was added to the pedal position while 42mm in length was added to the lower half of the seat back, Additionally the steering wheel was raised and the gearshift position was improved giving more elbow room whilst the underside was given a complex profile to give an aerodynamic gain.
The new one-piece gearbox/bell-housing featured a drain gallery and spray lubrication system to keep oil temperature down and the internal engine oil tank was revised to keep oil flow constant as cornering G-forces increased. For this season in Europe a new Avon radial tyre was mandatory wear resulting in revisions to suspension geometry and a new rear upright. At the front new six-pot AP calipers were fitted allowing for greater pad area compared to the previously used four-pot units which were still retained at the rear. Finally a new engine cover was fitted with revised ducting and plenum chambers to increase average engine intake pressure, combining this with a revised cooling system to reduce the pressure drop through the coolers to improve engine performance.
As already noted the T90/50 won Lola the Japanese F3000 Championship for the fourth time in five years after taking seven of the ten rounds and eight of the top nine in the final standings were Lola-mounted. Unusually Katayama was powered by the Ford Cosworth engine whilst virtually all of the remaining cars used the Mugen engine. The only competition during the season came from Ross Cheever in a Reynard 91D-Mugen who won the remaining three races.
In Europe it was all about the Reynard 91D which won nine of the ten rounds with the Ralt RT23 taking a solitary victory. The T91/50 wasn't totally out-classed taking two seconds and two thirds and several other top six places but after the 1989 and 1990 success this was a big letdown for the company.
Of the forty-one cars built twenty-eight went to Japan and thirteen to Europe. N.B. chassis numbers went up to HU9150-44, these three numbers were not built: 13, 28 and 38.
DIMENSIONSFront Track: 67.4ins (171.2cms).
Rear Track: 62.4ins (158.5cms).
Wheelbase: 103.5ins (262.9cms).
Weight: 540kgs (1190.5lbs).
Year(s) of Construction: 1991
Total Built: 41
T91/50 CHAMPIONSHIP WINS
|All Japan F3000 Championship
|Lola T90/50-Cosworth DFV & Lola T91/50-Cosworth DFV
|All Japan F3000 Championship
|Lola T91/50-Mugen & Lola T92/50-Mugen
|Australian Gold Star
|Euroboss Formula (F3000 Class) - -
Rear suspension and gearbox detail, note the oil tank integrated within the bellhousing.
T91/50 SIGNIFICANT RACE WINS
|Round 4 of the All Japan Formula 3000 Championship
|Round 12 of the All Japan Formula 3000 Championship
Eric Broadley shares a joke with Laurent Aiello.
The Hitoshi Ogawa T91/50 finished 5th in the Japanese Championship.