The Lola T97/30 was constructed by the British racing car manufacturer Lola Cars car with which the team MasterCard Lola took in the 1997 Formula 1 season. MasterCard Lola wanted to contest the entire season with the car; However, it was only to report for a race before the team finished its Formula 1 involvement because of financial difficulties.
Lola Cars was founded by Eric Broadley in 1957. The company constructed in the following decades, sports and racing cars for different motorsport classes. These included sports car endurance race, but also the Formula Junior and Formula 3 and Formula 2 and its successor series formula 3000th In the 1970s, Lola was next March Engineering the most represented chassis supplier for Formula 2
Since the 1960s, Lola constructed next to it repeatedly vehicles for Formula 1, where the role of the company was limited in each case to the chassis constructors; the racing bets have been disputed by organizationally independent teams. Lola's Formula 1 cars achieved with the exception of the Honda RA300 (1967 ) only a few World Cup points. After the of a Ferrari engine powered Lola T93/30 the BMS Scuderia Italia in 1993 was retracted no world championship point, there was initially no further prospects for Lola chassis in Formula 1
" To prove his competence," Lola developed for the Formula 1 season 1995 Lola T95/30 to, but found no customers. Allan McNish tested the T95/30 Lola for early 1995 at the Silverstone Circuit, but did not win any findings, as the unconventional shaped car quickly overheated and had to be aborted after three rounds of the rides.
In November 1996, resulted for Lola a new way of entering Formula 1 Lola won the support of the credit card company MasterCard. Unlike the previous attempts, Lola should organize in this case, the racing itself, so it should act as a factory team. After initially a start had been adopted in the 1998 season in the eye, the MasterCard Lola called team finally announced already for the 1997 season, which began with the first race in Australia on March 9, 1997. Lola remained so for four months in the development of racing cars and the establishment of the infrastructure that was needed for racing. On February 20, 1997, the T97/30, introduced the use of equipment of the team MasterCard Lola the public.
The Lola T 97/30 was not a new development. It was based largely on the 1994 constructed T95/30, which he also corresponded in dimensions. She was equipped with a low-power client engine with eight cylinders; A separate ten-cylinder engine had been set up but failed to be realized.
Chassis and suspension
The Lola T97/30 had a carbon-fiber monocoque, which was covered with body parts made of plastic. The side boxes were made large and straight. They recalled the Benetton B194, whose designer Julian Cooper was changed in late 1994 to Lola. The aerodynamics of the T97/30 was developed exclusively on the computer. A wind tunnel test was omitted due to time constraints. Instead, the results were taken from previous wind tunnel tests with Lola Indy car vehicles and transferred to the Formula 1. The suspension consisted of double wishbones.
Ford V8 ED4
She was equipped with an eight-cylinder engine from Ford Lola as well as Tyrrell received the ED4 version, which was based on a Cosworth - design of the early 1990s. The engine was last used as a Ford Zetec R Formula 1 season 1995 Sauber, a similar version had been appointed in 1996 by Forti Corse, but not used. The ED4 was 130 kg, the heaviest engine of the starting grid 1997 - developed at Ilmor Ten cylinders of the McLaren team was 15 lighter - and " not very strong". Only the eight-cylinder engine used in Minardi Hart was even weaker.
A separate ten-cylinder engine
Eric Broadley described the election of Ford's assembly at the team presentation in February 1997 as a stopgap and said his team would use in the foreseeable future a self-developed ten-cylinder engine. With the development of which Lola had commissioned the British motor manufacturer Al Melling end of 1996. The Melling ten-cylinder should be subjected to initial tests after Broadleys planning in April 1997 and then used from the summer of 1997 regularly at Great prices. Melling developed in winter 1996/97, a Formula 1 engine, which was ready to test according to British representations in February 1997, but was not further developed in March 1997 after the collapse of the team.
After the presentation of the T97/30 on 20 February 1997, the team conducted a first function test on the Santa Pod Raceway, an airfield runway in the Middle English community Podington, by, a day later it was testing at Silverstone, which has been hampered by repeated transmission problems. Then the cars or any other material were shipped directly for the first race of the year to Australia.
For the first race of the year, the Australian Grand Prix in 1997, announced MasterCard Lola T97/30 two for the driver Ricardo Rosset and Vincenzo Sospiri.
In the two practice sessions on Friday Rosset achieved a lap time of 1:41 minutes, Sospiri was one and a half seconds slower. Rosset also qualifying time 1:41 minutes Sospiri was stopped with a time of 1:44. This means that both drivers were each slowest in the field. Rosset distance to the pole time of Jacques Villeneuve was 12 seconds for a qualifying lap time of 1:35,6 would have been necessary to Rosset exceeded five seconds. In the end, both failed driver thus at the 107- percent rule.
Observers noted that at the Lola " something fundamental wrong". Sospiri and Rosset lamented the lack of grip and downforce; the car is not able to sufficiently heat the tire. In addition to structural faults, the main reason for the failure of the team in the short period of time is seen lying between the start of the project in November 1996 and the first race in March 1997: Lola was ready become apparent only in the very last minute and was for Formula 1 only been ill-prepared. For comparison, reference is made to the Scottish team Stewart Grand Prix, which also debuted in 1997 in Formula 1, and had spent more than a year of preparation.
After failing to qualify in Australia Eric Broadley announced to immediately begin developing a new car for the Formula 1. Nothing came of it. Two days after the race ended the agreement with MasterCard Lola, which led to the insolvency of the racing team and the parent company Lola Cars.
Whereabouts of the cars
The two specimens used in Australia of the T97/30 were sold to a Canadian racing school during the year, a third form was issued a few years in a museum on the Irish Motor Sports Track Mondello Park Circuit.