Lola Mk6

Last updated

Lola Mk6 GT
Lola Mk6 GT front.jpg
"Mecom Racing Team" Lola Mk6 GT (# LGT-2) at Silverstone Classic 2011
Category Experimental Grand Touring
Constructor Lola Cars
Designer(s) Eric Broadley (chassis)
John Frayling (coachwork)
Successor Ford GT40
Lola T70
Technical specifications
Chassis Aluminium monocoque (steel monocoque for prototype car)
Suspension (front)Double wishbones
Suspension (rear)Double wishbones
Length3,912 mm (154.0 in)
Width1,600 mm (63.0 in)
Height1,016 mm (40.0 in)
Wheelbase 2,356 mm (92.8 in)
Engine Ford Motor Company, 289 cu in (4.74 L)
(later Chevy 6 L (366 cu in)) pushrod V8 NA mid-mounted
Transmission Colotti Tipo 37 4 speed manual
Weight950 kg (2,094.4 lb)
Competition history
Notable entrantsLola Racing Cars
Mecom Racing Team
Notable drivers Tony Maggs
Richard Attwood
David Hobbs
Augie Pabst
Roger Penske
DebutSilverstone, 11 May 1963 [1]
RacesWins
121

The Lola Mk6 GT was a racing car with a production run of only three units, built between 1962 and 1963 by British car manufacturer Lola Cars. With its 289 cu in (4.74 L) Ford V8 engine, the Mk6 GT was the first mid-mounted, high displacement V8-powered Grand Touring car, [2] a chassis arrangement that had been used, up until that time, only on formula cars and smaller, more affordable GTs. [2]

Contents

Development

Mid-engined cars were a revolutionary idea introduced in motor racing by the Cooper Car Company, a small British firm that managed to beat big players in the Formula 1 World Championship two years in a row. This engine layout did not make its way into Grand Tourers, which were accepted to race only if a minimum production run had been completed: not a single manufacturer was keen on making a big investment to build cars "at a minimum rate of one hundred identical units as far as mechanical parts and coachwork are concerned in 12 consecutive months", [3] as required by the FIA, without having the necessary experience with such applications and the right components.

In those days there was no commonly available transaxle gearbox capable of managing the enormous torque provided by big V8 engines. [2] When the Colotti Tipo 37 gearbox was made available to the market after being specifically built to be mounted on the Lotus 29 single seater, [4] a racing car powered by a 256 cu in (4.20 L) Ford Fairlane V8 and intended to race in the 1963 Indianapolis 500, [5] Lola's owner Eric Broadley had the opportunity to solve the problem.

Moreover, the FIA's decision to terminate its World Sports Car Championship and replace it with the new International Championship for GT Manufacturers for the 1962 season, in order to focus manufacturers' attention on Grand Tourers, made it more difficult for mid-engined GT cars to make their way into production. [2] [6] But the Federation left an open door to research and development, admitting to races Experimental Grand Touring cars (later known as Prototypes), with no minimum production requirement, but requiring roadworthiness. [6] The Lola Mk6 GT was conceived by Eric Broadley at the end of 1962 to be accepted into the Experimental Grand Touring class. [6]

Technical description

The Mk6 GT featured some of the best technology of the time: first of all an aluminium monocoque (although the prototype car had a steel monocoque in order to save development time [6] ), while all opponents, apart from Jaguar, still relied on a space frame chassis. The Ford-Colotti engine-gearbox assembly was a stressed member and the rear suspension was mounted directly on it, a technique that did not appear in full on Formula 1 cars until the Lotus 49 in 1967. As a result the car was so compact that the wheelbase was even shorter than Lola's other formula cars, despite using a large 400 hp (300 kW) pushrod V8 engine. [6]

The coachwork, designed by John Frayling and made by FRP, had its own features such as reduced overhangs, Kamm-tail, roof-integrated engine air intake and special doors which extended into the roof to give the drivers greater access to the cockpit once they were open, an idea that was kept on the car's successor, the Ford GT40. [6]

Racing history

The prototype car (chassis LGT-P, steel monocoque) was shown to the public in January 1963 at the UK Olympia Racing Car Show, making a big success and provoking great expectations, [2] and during the following months South African Tony Maggs raced it at Silverstone (finishing fifth after starting last on the grid) and at the Nürburgring 1000 km (retiring for technical reasons). [1] After Nürburgring, LGT-P was retired. In 1965, it was sold to Allen Grant for $3,000 and 57 years later, the recently restored LGT-P is still owned by Mr Grant.

While LGT-P was being raced, a second car (chassis LGT-1, aluminium monocoque) was being completed and prepared for the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans. [6] Short of preparation time, Broadley himself brought LGT-1 to Le Mans at the very last moment for technical verification, which required some modifications to the car. [6] After their completion the car was allowed to race, but the time spent couldn't be used for proper testing. The car raced with the wrong gear ratios and so was not able to show all of its potential: drivers didn't use full throttle on the long Mulsanne Straight to avoid overrevving, giving a top speed 30 mph (48 km/h) lower than predicted, and was forced to retire after 15 hours following an accident due to a gear selector failure. [6] Understanding the potential performance of the Mk6, the Ford Motor Company bought it so as to further test its capabilities, [7] laying the foundation for its GT40 project and involving Broadley himself, although he later left the program. [6]

Meanwhile, a third car was completed, the second aluminium monocoque (chassis LGT-2). It was not raced at Le Mans that year because it was not ready, but was sold to the American Mecom Racing Team [8] who raced it at Brands Hatch, where the Ford engine broke after only four laps. Replaced by a Traco-tuned 6 L (370 cu in) Chevrolet V8 delivering 530 hp (395 kW) at 6500 rpm, the car was extensively raced in North America and won the 1963 Bahamas Speed Week [9]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ford GT40</span> High-performance endurance racing car

The Ford GT40 is a high-performance endurance racing car commissioned by the Ford Motor Company. It grew out of the "Ford GT" project, an effort to compete in European long-distance sports car races, against Ferrari, which won the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race from 1960 to 1965. Ford succeeded with the GT40, winning the 1966 through 1969 races.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marcos Engineering</span> British sports car manufacturer

Marcos Engineering was a British sports car manufacturer. The name derives from the surnames of founders Jem Marsh and Frank Costin.

Lola Cars International Ltd. was a British race car engineering company in operation from 1958 to 2012. The company was founded by Eric Broadley in Bromley, England, before moving to new premises in Slough, Buckinghamshire and finally Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, and endured for more than fifty years to become one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of racing cars in the world. Lola Cars started by building small front-engined sports cars, and branched out into Formula Junior cars before diversifying into a wider range of sporting vehicles. Lola was acquired by Martin Birrane in 1998 after the unsuccessful MasterCard Lola attempt at Formula One.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shelby Daytona</span> Motor vehicle

The Shelby Daytona Coupe is an American sports-coupé. It is related to the Shelby Cobra roadster, loosely based on its chassis and drive-train developed and built as an advanced evolution. It was engineered and purpose built for auto racing, specifically to take on Ferrari and its 250 GTO in the GT class. The original project had six Shelby Daytona Coupes built for racing purposes between 1964 and 1965, as Carroll Shelby was reassigned to the Ford GT40 project to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, again to beat Ferrari in the highest level prototype class. With the Shelby Daytona, Shelby became the first American constructor to win a title on the international scene in the FIA International Championship for GT Manufacturers in 1965. The Shelby Daytona has recently been chosen for historic preservation as a significant vehicle in the history of auto racing.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ferrari 333 SP</span>

The Ferrari 333 SP is a sports prototype race car that was built by Italian race car manufacturer Dallara and later Michelotto to compete in the World Sports Car championship for Ferrari. Unveiled at the end of 1993, at the behest of amateur racer Giampiero Moretti, the 333 SP marked Ferrari's official return to sports car racing after a 20-year absence. The car was built to compete in the IMSA's new WSC class, which replaced the previous GTP cars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Daytona Prototype</span> Prototype racing car

A Daytona Prototype is a type of sports prototype racing car developed specifically for the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Sports Car Series as their top class of car, which replaced their main prototype racing class, specifically Le Mans Prototypes (LMPs). The cars later competed in the merged series of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, from 2014-2016, before being phased out and replaced by the Daytona Prototype International class in 2017. They are named after the main series event, the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mirage (race car)</span>

The Mirage Lightweight Racing Car was a family of race cars built by J.W. Automotive Engineereing (JWAE) at Slough in England, initially to compete in international sports car races in the colours of the Gulf Oil Corporation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lola T70</span>

The Lola T70 is a sports prototype developed by British manufacturer Lola Cars in 1965. Lola built the aluminium monocoque chassis, which were typically powered by large American V8s.

The 1969 World Sportscar Championship season was the 17th season of FIA World Sportscar Championship motor racing. It featured the 1969 International Championship for Makes, which was a series for FIA Group 6 Prototype Sports Cars, Group 4 Sports Cars and Group 3 Grand Touring Cars and the 1969 International Cup for GT Cars, which was restricted to Group 3 Grand Touring Cars. The season ran from 1 February 1969 to 10 August 1969 and comprised 10 races.

Eric Harrison Broadley MBE was a British entrepreneur, engineer, and founder and chief designer of Lola Cars, the motor racing manufacturer and engineering company. He was arguably one of the most influential automobile designers of the post-war period, and over the years Lola was involved with many high-profile projects in Formula One, IndyCar, and sports car racing. Broadley sold Lola to Martin Birrane in 1999.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lola Mk4</span>

The Lola Mk4 and the derivative Mk4A were Formula One racing cars constructed by the Lola company in 1962. They were designed by Lola founder, owner and Chief Designer Eric Broadley at the request of Reg Parnell, proprietor of the Bowmaker Racing Team. The Mk4 was the first design that Lola produced for the top tier of motorsport.

Leonard Bailey was a British automobile designer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lola T600</span> Racing car

The Lola T600 was a racing car introduced in 1981 by Lola Cars as a customer chassis. It was the first GT prototype race car to incorporate ground-effect tunnels for downforce. The revolutionary aerodynamic design of the T600 was widely imitated throughout the 1980s by International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and Group C prototype cars. The Lola T600 ran initially in the U.S.-based IMSA GT series and later in European Group C races.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">BRM P153</span>

The BRM P153 was a Formula One racing car designed by Tony Southgate for the British Racing Motors team, which raced in the 1970, 1971 and 1972 Formula One seasons. It was powered by a 3.0-litre V12 engine. Its best result was victory at the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix, where Pedro Rodríguez beat the second-placed March of Chris Amon by just 1.1 seconds. The model was first shown in BRM's traditional British racing green, but by the time it appeared on the race tracks it was in the colours of the team's sponsor, Yardley of London.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Talbot-Lago T26C</span> Formula One race car

The T26C was a single-seater racing car with a box section chassis, an unsupercharged 4.5 litre straight six engine and a four speed Wilson preselector gearbox. The chassis and gearbox were derived from the company's 1930s racing cars and were similar to those used on their post-war road cars. For the 1950 Formula One season a version with a more powerful engine was introduced, with revised carburation and twin spark plugs. These variants are known as T26C-DA.

Tony Southgate is a British engineer and former racing car designer. He designed many successful cars, including Jaguar's Le Mans-winning XJR-9, and cars for almost every type of circuit racing. He was responsible for the chassis design of Ford's RS200 Group B rally car. Southgate was employed as chief designer or technical director for many Formula One teams for over twenty years. These teams included BRM, Shadow and Arrows. Southgate retired after producing the Audi R8C, which was a major influence in the Bentley Speed 8, which won Le Mans in 2003. He continues to be a regular visitor to current and historic race meetings.

Colotti Trasmissioni is an Italian mechanical engineering firm located in Modena, Italy. It specializes in gears, limited-slip differentials and transmission systems for racing cars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ascari A410</span>

The Ascari A410 was a Le Mans Prototype built by Ascari Cars in 2000. The car, which was based on the Lola T92/10 Group C racing car, featured a 4-litre Judd GV4 V10 engine, and was used in European and international sports car racing events. In 2002, it was renamed as the Ascari KZR-1.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lavaggi LS1</span>

The Lavaggi LS1 is a Le Mans Prototype (LMP1) built by Scuderia Lavaggi of the former F1 driver Giovanni Lavaggi. Completed in 2006, the LS1, initially using a 6-litre Ford V8 engine, made its racing debut at the last race of the year at Jarama, driven by the driver-constructor himself and by Xavier Pompidou as co-driver. With no previous tests whatsoever, in the second free practices, the car was just 2.8 seconds slower than the fastest one, even if slowed down by electronic problems, which pestered the team during the whole race weekend and caused also two engines failure. The following years, Scuderia Lavaggi was strongly affected by the financial crisis started in USA, which expanded soon in the rest of the world. The sponsors who were supporting the Lavaggi LS1 project disappeared and Giovanni had to face the racing seasons and the car’s updates imposed by the rules changes, with his own resources. For 2010, ACO imposed new rules that would have meant heavy modifications to the Lavaggi LS1, including the adoption of a different type of engine. Then, persisting the bad financial global situation, Giovanni Lavaggi decided to retire the car at the end of the 2009 season.

Crawford Composites is an American manufacturer of carbon fiber and composite parts company based in Denver, North Carolina. Crawford designs and manufacture structural and non-structural composite components in industries such as aerospace, aviation, motor sports, health care, defense and structural construction.

References

  1. 1 2 "Lola Mk6 GT results". www.racingsportscars.com. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Thorson, Thor (31 December 2006). "1963-64 Lola-Chevrolet Mk 6 GT". www.sportscarmarket.com. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  3. "Appendix J 1961 - Art. 264 - Group 3: Grand Touring Cars: Definition" (PDF). www.fia.com. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  4. "Colotti Trasmissioni - History". www.colotti.com. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  5. Melissen, Wouter (23 November 2012). "1963 Lotus 29 Ford". www.ultimatecarpage.com. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Melissen, Wouter (20 December 2004). "1963 Lola Mk6 GT Ford". www.ultimatecarpage.com. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  7. Martin Krejci, cited web page
  8. "Lola Mk6 GT results, chassis LGT-2". www.racingsportscars.com. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  9. Melissen, Wouter (16 March 2011). "1963 Lola Mk6 GT Chevrolet". www.ultimatecarpage.com. Retrieved 19 August 2011.