The place for respectful and reverent discussion of Reject drivers and teams, whether profiled or not as yet
by dr-baker 06 Mar 2014, 17:17
Originally my 10,000th post! (Initial Autosport articles put together 23rd September 2013.)

MasterCard Lola used to have their own profile page on F1 Rejects’ website, but that has obviously disappeared now, so the original profile appears below (thanks to a web archive site). Thanks to Enoch Law for writing the original article. And I am honoured that one of his next tasks for the website was to re-write it based on the information provided below (when it was originally just the Autosport articles).

Last update in December with F1 Racing articles, Australian Grand Prix programme text, and some additional photos/images added.

SOURCES:

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A British weekly publication that has been running continuously since 1950.

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A British monthly publication that has been running from 1923 to date.

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A British magazine that ran from 1992 until about 2001. Dropped away soon after the death of its editor, Derek Wright. Published every 2-3 weeks from February to November, with one issue between each race during the season, running to 20/21 issues per year.

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A British monthly F1 features magazine, published from March 1996 to date by Haymarket Publishing (just like Autosport), but then moved from Haymarket to Motorsport.com publishers during 2016.

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Also email contact with Allan McNish adds to the detail below.

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Info on Stewart was found at Donington Park race track's museum in August 2015 (see entry listed under 10th December 1996)..

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Extra photos can be found at the Mastercard Lola F1 Racing Team Facebook page.

F1 News, 25th August 1992

The story really starts with Scuderia Italia taking on Lola chassis, as it was this relationship that provides the impetus for Lola to enter the sport with their own race team. Eric Broadley always appeared to be the eternal optimist, didn’t he!

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F1 News, 22nd September 1992

Keith Wiggins had ideas of entering the sport in 1993, but this somehow ended up being postponed by a year, to 1994. The reason for the inclusion of Keith Wiggins into this story will become apparent later. I wonder what the story behind the entry being postponed was?

And who knew Damon Hill could have ended up at a 1993 Pacific team? Could have changed his entire career path!

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F1 News, 20th October 1992

In anticipation of Pacific entering the sport in 1993, F1 News ran an article on Keith Wiggins, the “New Kid on the Block”. F1 News for me was the prototype F1 Rejects, as not only did they profile Keith Wiggins before his team entered the sport, but they also put Roland Ratzenberger on the front cover of their magazine in March 1994!

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F1 News, 23rd February 1993

Each year, F1 News ran a feature in their season preview entitled, “The Teams, The Cars, The Men.” It followed the same format each year. This is what they had to say for the BMS Scuderia Italia Lola entry. If only they knew… Expectations were clearly running higher than the team managed on the timesheets.

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F1 News, 6th July 1993

Mid-season 1993, and the parody cartoons are already running. This cartoon could of course have equally applied to 1997, if only (SPOILER!!!) the team made it as far as the British GP…

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Autosport, 16th September 1993

Lola reckon that they could have run their 1993 chassis better than Scuderia Italia did, and that they are looking to enter their own team as early as the following year, 1994!

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F1 News, 21st September 1993

Essentially the same news story as in the last Autosport clipping also featured in this issue of F1 News magazine.

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Just slipping a photo with caption in to demonstrate that the Scuderia Italia Lola was not totally hopeless and useless… This was at the 1993 Italian Grand Prix. The one where Fittipaldi became ’Flip-ipaldi’ across the finish line!

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Autosport, 14th October 1993

Autosport publish an entry list for 1994. Simtek, Pacific, Forti and Lola are all on the list. Of course, they do all make it into the sport, but not all necessarily in 1994… This is somewhat acknowledged near the top of the third paragraph of the article. All four of those teams in the same race would have been EPIC!

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F1 News, 2nd November 1993

Keith Wiggins (as stated earlier, more on why he features later) launching his Pacific PR01 for 1994. At least he seemed to attempt to balance the books first…

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Autosport, 11th November 1993

The deadline for paying the entry fee for 1994 is close, and Simtek and Pacific are mentioned in regards to this, but where are Lola and Forti?

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Autosport, 25th November 1993

Lola announce that they are now looking to enter in 1995, rather than 1994…

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Autosport, 21st July 1994

Lola’s attempt to enter F1 for 1995 is boosted by recruiting a new Head of Marketing: Brett Trafford. Hope it’s a good move – you’ll need a good marketing guy…

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F1 News, 10th August 1994

F1 News were slightly slower on the news than Autosport, but report it nonetheless. (Sorry about the scan quality – it’s hard to scan near the centre crease when the magazine is in a binder, and it’s not always easy to remove the magazine from the binder for each and every scan. It is honestly easier to type it out manually in this case.) And I didn’t get the pun of the short news story section until later in life!

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F1 News, 10th August 1994 wrote:LOLA F1 COMEBACK

Lola, planning to re-enter the World Championship next year, have appointed Brett Trafford as Head of Marketing of their Formula One team.

Trafford was Marketing Director of Benetton Formula from 1989-91 and has also worked with the Sasol Jordan team.

He said: "This is a very good opportunity for me, but it won't be easy as the economic situation around the world is still very difficult. However, Lola is a well-respected company, on the verge of change, and I am pleased to be part of it."


Autosport, 15th September 1994

The new Lola is due to test in November. How long did that take? A year? And how competitive was it?

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F1 News, 5th October 1994

May this be a clue as to why (SPOILER!!!) Keith Wiggins later gets employed by Lola? Although Brett Trafford is Head of Marketing at Lola…

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F1 News, 23rd November 1994

Even at this stage, Lola still seem to be pushing on with their 1995 plans to enter F1. (Of course, Allan McNish does go on to test Lola’s T95/30 around this time). (See email below.)

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Autosport, 8th December 1994

A further delay in entry until 1996…

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Autosport, 5th January 1995

Allan McNish is signed as the test driver of the Lola T95/30, the car being a 1995 test bed, preparing for a 1996 entry. It is described as ‘pretty good’!

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Email received from Allan McNish on Tuesday 4th August 2015

Allan McNish was contacted via his website for more information about testing the Lola T95/30, and this was his response:

Allan McNish wrote:I only agreed to do the initial test because a friend, Mike Blanchet ran Lola (sales side), I had no other contact with any Lola F1 programme and was contracted to Porsche when they entered F1.

I don't think the car ever ran again after that.

Sorry, can't help much as I was not really involved.

Thanks

Allan


Autosport, 2nd February 1995

South African Stephen Watson is negotiating for a 1995 test drive at Lola, and will compete in F3000 in the same year. Alongside Ricardo Rosset, Vincenzo Sospiri and Allan McNish. One of the four is an F3000 reject. Guess who? Find out below!


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F1 News, 23rd August 1995

F1 News had not forgotten about Lola during 1995, but it seems that very little news was coming out at that time about the project. In over 20 issues during 1995, this is all that F1 News printed about the project all year. This adds credence to McNish's assertion that the car likely only ran once.

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F1 News, 20th September 1995

F1 News ran a couple of short articles on news in other motorsport categories, so I thought it might be relevant to this story that Ricardo Rosset and Vincenzo Sospiri were teammates previously in F3000. And they proved to be the top two in the championship, unlike in F1 (bottom two)! And isn’t it ironic that they were dominant in Reynards, together beating their rivals, Lola?! Lolas just were not as fast as their future employees could have been…

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F1 News, 25th October 1995

The final summary of the last two rounds of the 1995 F3000 championship.

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F1 News, 8th November 1995

Vincenzo Sospiri goes out to Japan to seek a seat for the 1996 F1 season.

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F1 News, 22nd November 1995

An advertisement is run to publicise Sospiri’s F3000 success. In a Reynard, beating those pesky Lolas!

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Autosport, 23rd November 1995

A joint project between Pacific, Indycar, and Lola has not taken off. I guess this is where the relationship between Keith Wiggins and Lola starts… Plus Pacific started building the PR03 for the 1996 season, while Lola now is not entering 1996, and is now looking towards 1997 for an entry.

As an aside, neither F1 News nor Autosport reported on how the Lola T95/30 tested, nor how frequently. But one assumes that it was always driven by Allan McNish and never by Stephen Watson? As another aside, I kept initially reading the South African’s name as Steve Warson, friend and teammate to Michel Vaillant, rather than as Stephen Watson… EDIT (4th August 2015): Allan McNish's email correspondence above suggests that neither he nor Watson ever drove the car in 1995.

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In the same Autosport magazine, there is a review of the 1995 FIA International F3000 championship. Vincenzo Sospiri won the title, as we have seen above, with Ricardo Rosset 2nd. Allan McNish came a distant 7th, but Watson scored zero in his debut season in the category. In his second season, he remained on zero points. He even continued in the series into a third season, in 1997, where he scores as many as 2 points, thereby retaining reject status!

Anyway, guess Autosport rates as the best three F3000 drivers of the 1995 season? It is only those three who end up driving F1-spec Lolas for the team between 1994 and 1997!

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Autosport, 25th January 1996

Keith Wiggins, formerly of Pacific GP (whose F1 team went into liquidation), is to be Lola F1’s managing director! THIS explains the inclusion of a bit of background on Keith Wiggins running his own team further up above. Oh, and Lola’s expected entry into F1 is now postponed further, to 1997…

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F1 News, 7th February 1996

This is where some parts of the Lola story are repeated in both magazines, but there are also differences during 1996 and 1997 too! But this is one that is repeated from the last Autosport clipping.

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Autosport, 22nd February 1996

Lola have to deny showing favouritism to their new managing director’s F3000 team!

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F1 Racing, March 1996

A quick guide to the new-for-1996 107% rule, in the days when Hill was at Williams, there was only one Schumi and he drove for Benetton, and Forti were in the sport…

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F1 Racing, April 1996

Bridgestone announce their plans to enter F1, but in 1998! Bridgestone had such a limited previous presence in the sport at this point, look at the photo they used!

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F1 News, 17th April 1996

Wiggins and Lola are pushing on with their plans to enter Lola into F1 for 1997, but it is dependent on one thing – funding! Wonder where the funding could come from? And they need it by… July?! :shock:

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F1 Racing, May 1996

Dome are looking to enter F1 in 1997. They, at this point, are using Goodyear tyres, but one would expect them to enter with fellow Japanese company Bridgestone, wouldn’t one? Namely, for Dome to postpone until 1998 to enter with Bridgestone? Or to encourage them to join a year earlier?

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F1 News, 27th May 1996

Chris Murphy moves from having previously been chief designer at Lotus in 1994 to chief designer at Lola. Well, I wonder what he went on to achieve afterwards, after having those two cars on his CV? Oh, and I don’t think I saw a reference to this in a February issue of F1 News, otherwise I would have scanned it…

Also, RE-joins? Yes, he was also previously involved in Larrousse's Lola chassis!

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F1 Racing, June 1996

So Bridgestone are looking to join in 1997 after all? But because they have no teams to test with? What about Dome? But in hindsight, they were right about Michelin not being far behind. Just a shame about Goodyear’s future in the category…

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And here is a brief interview from the same issue from a driver who had contracts with Simtek, Pacific, Forti and Lola!

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F1 News, 12th June 1996

Lola could have run with Reynolds Metals Co. engines had they managed to pull this deal off. Can’t say I remember this story running at the time? But this adds to the intrigue of the team.

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F1 Racing, July 1997

Bridgestone are now testing their tyres in a Japanese-powered car on their own Japanese test-track!

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There is also a three-page article on the tyre competition situation as seen at the time.

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F1 News, 24th July 1996

An earlier story suggested that a decision on a 1997 entry would have to be made by July. Well, that time has come, and F1 News seems to think that that is now unlikely, due to the lack of news coming from the Lola team. (Again, sorry for the scan quality, but I hope you can make it out!)

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F1 Racing, August 1996

Arrows tie their mast to Bridgestone tyres. It is looking serious for Bridgestone now for 1997 – teams, testing, etc.

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But Lola have not yet committed convincingly enough for F1 Racing to predict their engine supply for the 1998 season yet. It’s only 18 months after the publication of this issue of F1 Racing… And no mention here of Richmond Metals Co. of Richmond, Virginia or Al Melling suppling engines.

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F1 News, 7th August 1996

A discussion about Lola’s possible engine supply. Again Reynolds Metals Co. of Richmond, Virginia is mentioned as a possibility. But there is as yet no mention of Al Melling’s MCD concern. And, following on from the last article, a 1997 entry at this point is looking less likely.

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Autosport, 8th August 1996

A decision will be made in August 1996 whether to enter F1 or not in 1997 (it is now August!)… And Keith Wiggins is no longer managing director?

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F1 News, 21st August 1996

The first mention of Al Melling and his MCD concern. Although they also bring Alan Randall into the equation, with the two forming a company called Ramel. (And again, I don’t seem to recall it being mentioned in a previous issue, and I would have been looking out for a reference to this. Unless it was in the middle of a 2-3 page article about other stuff?)

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Autosport, 22nd August 1996

Following on from the last Autosport clipping: Ah-ha, THIS is what happened to Pacific’s Keith Wiggins!

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F1 Racing, September 1996

An interview with Paul Stewart, bringing Stewart GP into F1 in 1997. It is clear from this that Lola’s customer Ford engine was never going to be on a par with Stewart.

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F1 News, 4th September 1996

Three stories in brief all in one go (texts with red backgrounds like this were a single-column of text entitled “Chinese Whispers”, giving news in single sentences that were what may be called factoids): Keith Wiggins has left Lola with a decision over its 1997 entry STILL to be made (despite the July deadline long gone), Lola’s Chris Murphy sues and wins against Lotus’s David Hunt over £33,000, and Reynolds Metals Co. of Richmond, Virginia is now no longer going to make engines after failing to make an agreement with any team. I wonder which other teams they had been in discussion with?

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Autosport, 5th September 1996

Oh dear. Lola are having to stretch their deadline for entering F1 in 1997… It really is stretching it, considering their initial deadline!

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Autosport, 12th September 1996

Engine news! Lola are to commission an engine from Al Melling, of MCD Consultants.

Plus Mike Blanchet is to leave as managing director… :?

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Autosport, 26th September 1996

STEFAN GRAND PRIX!!! They had interest in entering F1 BEFORE buying assets from Lola’s F1 attempt, for the 1997 season! And, of course, at this point, he’s Yugoslavian, not Serbian as he is now, due to the break-up of the former Yugoslav states. (Sadly, F1 News does not seem to give crazy Zoran Stefanovic any publicity whatsoever!)

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F1 Racing, October 1996

Could Lola have ended up with a more competitive engine if this meeting had gone differently? And is this the first mention of current rising star, Mick Schumacher, in the pages of F1 Racing?

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Despite missing a significant number of races, Forti have not yet given up the fight to remain in F1!

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F1 News, 2nd October 1996

With Reynolds Metals Co. now no longer to supply engines to Lola, and with Lola at this point without any engine deal, this article seems timely, discussing a possible shortage of engine supply within F1. Also note how this article mentions how F1 engines are expensive and time-consuming to build. Lola at this point of the story have not got the money lined up and are rapidly running out of time! (And just as F1 News makes no reference to Zoran Stefanovic, Autosport does not ever seem to have mentioned Reynolds Metals Co. of Richmond, Virginia in relation to MasterCard Lola, or to anybody else for that matter.)

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Autosport, 10th October 1996

Some further details on their engine deal with Al Melling. The amount of money to be invested in the engine is interesting when compared to the major engine manufacturers, and when compared to engine contracts of 2010-2013…

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F1 News, 23rd October 1996

Coverage of Lola confirming their own engine supply with Al Melling’s MCD concern, a V10 with a 5-year plan. Apparently, there is yet another Pacific connection here, where Al Melling was going to combine with Neil Brown to build an engine for Pacific.

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Autosport, 24th October 1996

Lola and Stefan GP to give more info about their entries into F1 in the next fortnight. And Zoran Stefanovich is now Czech?! The Czech Republic is CLEARLY not formerly Yugoslavia… AND he has an H on the end of his surname?!?!?!

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Autosport, 31st October 1996

Lola to use Fords in 1997, with Al Melling’s engines to be used from 1998. Plus driver news – Riccardo Rosset, and Tom Kristensen? Allan McNish is at least understandable in context of having tested the earlier Lola chassis…

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F1 Racing, November 1996

Stewart now have announced their driver line-up for their debut season.

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F1 News, 6th November 1996

F1 News seem more unsure that Lola is definitely entering, referring to the news still as rumours, still believing a late decision as ‘unlikely’. They confirm Chris Murphy as now having been there 6 months, and that Keith Wiggins left in the September of 1996.

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Autosport, 7th November 1996

Lola’s entry into the 1997 F1 season is given Top Story billing.

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Autosport, 14th November 1996

A retrospective of Lola in F1.

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Autosport, 14th November 1996

Lola’s V10 to be ready for mid-1997! Not 1998 as previously reported! Hurrah!

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F1 News, 20th November 1996

I was not an Autosport reader for much of the 1990s, so this is the first I knew that the MasterCard Lola project was going ahead. This was also the first time I knew that MasterCard were involved (although it was confirmed slightly earlier in an Autosport top story). My dad had a MasterCard at the time (of course I am not going to tell you whether he still does or not!), and I was asking if we could be involved, but I don’t think he ever heard anything from them.

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Autosport, 21st November 1996

A letter to Autosport shows that there is someone who does not believe in Lola. :-( What sad foresight...

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F1 Racing, December 1996

Bridgestone are now testing wet-weather tyres, and tests being carried out by Ricardo Rosset and Damon Hill.

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Another team to use Bridgestone tyres.

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And Lola finally get their first mentions in the magazine! After all, the magazine will be sponsoring the team…

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MotorSport magazine, December 1996

This magazine ran a Lola feature in their December 1996 issue. I do not a copy, but on the magazine's website, they have archived the whole back catalogue from 1923 to 2013! So here are some links to the articles of interest:

What Lola Wants, Lola Has Had To Hold On For
Lola's Formula One Heritage, first page
Lola's Formula One Heritage, second page
A Honda in Lola's clothing

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MotorSport magazine wrote:Page 19, December 1996

WHAT LOLA WANTS, LOLA HAS HAD TO HOLD ON FOR


Formula One is big business. To compete at motorsport's highest level requires a huge financial undertaking. Lola Cars has invested wisely over the past 38 years, salting away the funds generated with a view to eventually moving into its dream racing home, but the escalating costs of the category in recent times have kept it just out of the Huntingdon company's reach. It has overstretched itself on a number of occasions, but is now confident it has the portfolio to succeed. In 1997, a ground-breaking sponsorship deal with MasterCard will enable Lola to enter Formula One on its own terms, according to its founder Eric Broadley. His company has survived and prospered thanks to acute pecuniary acumen as well as engineering expertise. Lola might not register as easily with the man-on-the-street as, say, Williams or Benetton, yet it has a formidable record of success in a daunting range of formulae, including lndycars, sports and GT cars, CanAm, Group 7, F5000, F3000, Formula Two and Formula Ford. It has proved that Formula One is not the be-all-and-end-all. This is lucky, because, in F1 terms, Lola is distinctly in the red. Broadley insists that he has not taken leave of his senses to enter a formula which has left him with a few bruises over the years.

"There are very good business reasons for doing it," he stresses, "Due to the efforts of Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One — along with Indycars — is the most stable formula in motor racing. It's also the strongest formula, and we need to be in it.

"The whole thing is about exposure. Sponsors are in it for commercial reasons. It's very expensive to get into Formula One, and it's difficult to find sponsorship if you are not in — it's very Catch 22. You need big finance, because you can never do enough development or testing. We have been working hard for the past three years to make this happen — now we're ready. There is a deep-seated ambition to be successful in Formula One, but it's not the main driving force behind the decision."

The marque's relationship with Formula One has been stand-offish, Lola happy to share hide behind or share the limelight with Bowmaker, Honda, Embassy Hill, Haas and Beatrice, and Larrousse. But none of these proved satisfactory. Lessons have been learned.

"It's not lust about marketing and finance," says Broadley "The actual engineering control of it is vitally important — it's impossible to compete in F1 without it. We discovered that over the years. We have tried to get back into Formula One in various ways, but it has all gone horribly wrong."

The fiasco with the Ferrari-engined BMS Scuderia-ltalia cars in 1993 was the last straw for Broadley. "We stated that we would never do it like that again. We promised ourselves that we would only do it with our own teams. So that's what we are doing."

According to Broadley, his concern is now big enough to take on such a big in-house project — which will eventually include the engine — without it encroaching upon its Indycar arm.

"The reason we are going is because the operation has built up to the point where we have a lot of good people and our facilities are improving. There is a basic difference between a manufacturing, commercial operation and Formula One, which is dependent on sponsors. We have been involved in Indycars and Group C and things of that sort, and they are pretty demanding projects." They are, but F1 still represents a big step. Broadley, however, is confident of the project's feasibility and eventual success. "What we have now is a group of people capable of doing well at any project that you care to put in front of them, so we are tackling it slightly differently. We don't feel that we need a 'name' designer to head the project, we've sort gone off that idea, because what you get then is one guy's ideas — very often fixed ideas — which is not what you want these days. You need a group of specialists, and that the way we are tackling F1."

Plenty of 'name' designers have emerged from Lola portals, however, not so fresh perhaps, but stuffed full of ideas and knowledge fuelled by the company's varied and renowned fast turnover approach to the sport. Does it niggle Broadley that the likes of Patrick Head, John Barnard and Tony Southgate went elsewhere to make their names?

"I wouldn't say so because all those people have had tremendous talent of their own. In a way, were privileged to have them for a while." Had he been more involved in F1 at the time, perhaps he might have kept them... "I think what happened in the mid-'60s was that we had to make a decision on the direction to take the company, When we first went into the business, we did very well in the 1100s and things like that. But the whole problem with racing and producing racing cars is that they can be good for a while and then fade away. The markets are all very limited, so we had to tackle a lot of markets." Formula One history tends to be seen in the light of its current high-powered image. Yet it has not always been so flush. CanAm success in the late-'60s and early '70s was far more lucrative than the GP circus. For a long time F1 simply did not fit Lola's bill. It does now, and MasterCard intends to foot it.


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MotorSport magazine wrote:Page 20, December 1996

LOLA'S FORMULA ONE HERITAGE

1962: Eric Broadley is persuaded by Reg Parnell to build a Formula One car for the Bowmaker Racing team. Designated the Mk 4, this secures pole position for its first World Championship encounter, the Dutch GP at Zandvoort, in the hands of John Surtees. This tally has still to be added to in 244 attempts! Surtees retires on this occasion, but the car proves a consistent frontrunner, taking the ex-bike ace to second places in the British and German GPs. Surtees also wins the non-championship 1000 Guineas race at Mallory Park, the only Formula One victory for Lola. The team's other driver is Roy Salvadori, who fails to record a finish in a morale-sapping season. Both Surtees and Lola finish fourth in the respective drivers' and manufacturers championship. This remains Lola's most successful F1 foray.

1963: Surtees leaves to join Ferrari and the project loses momentum. Reg Parnell Racing runs updated Mk4As for Chris Amon, Masten Gregory, Maurice Trintignant, Lucien Bianchi and Mike Hailwood. Amon is the most successful of these, finishing seventh in the French and British GPs. Both John Campbell-Jones (Tim Parnell Racing) and Bob Anderson (OW Racing Enterprises) have a handful of GP outings between them in the '62-spec car.

Page 22, December 1996

Lola's Formula One heritage (continued)


1974: Graham Hill commissions the T370 for his fledgling Embassy-backed team. Looking very F5000, this proves a disappointment. It collects just a single constructors' championship point when Hill finishes a lapped sixth in the Swedish GP at Anderstorp. This occasion also provides his team-mate Guy Edwards with his best result of the year, seventh.

1975: Hill and Rolf Stommelen begin the year with the T370, but this soon metamorphoses into the Andy Smallman-penned Hill GH1 — an almost complete revamp of the T370. This shows much promise, but it is to prove a tragic season. Rolf Stommelen crashes heavily while leading on the car's debut at the Spanish GP at Montjuich Park. The German is badly injured and five spectators are killed. Tony Brise makes his debut in this race and proves a revelation during the year with several mature drives, including a sixth place in the Swedish GP. But it is Alan Jones who scores the best result for the car with a fifth place in the German GP at the Nurburgring. Then the team is devastated by the plane crash in November that claims the lives of Hill, Brise and Smallman.

1985: Lola re-enters the fray with the big-budget, Beatrice-backed FORCE equipe and Ford. Run by Carl Haas, its Hart Turbo-powered THL1 is the work of Neil Oatley, John Baldwin and Ross Brawn, and makes its debut with Alan Jones at the wheel in the Italian GP. The Australian fails to record a finish in four attempts, including missing the start of the South African race because of illness.

1986: Ralph Bellamy's THL2 is stunning but ultimately proves a disappointment. Beatrice pulls out, Ford's super-compact turbocharged V6 is late, and when it does finally arrive for the San Marino Grand Prix (round three) proves out of the ballpark in terms of power. The chassis is considered to be one of the best, although perhaps lacking slightly in terms of downforce, but reliability is poor. The highlight of the season is fourth and fifth places for Jones and Patrick Tambay in the Austrian GP at the Osterreichring. Jones also scores a point in the following Italian GP.

1987: Lola joins forces with Guy Larrousse. Chris Murphy designs the LC87, which proves to be perhaps the fastest, if not the most reliable 3.5-litre car of the season. The quick but accident prone Philippe Alliot scores three sixth places — in Germany, Spain and Mexico.

1988: The LC88 is swamped as the likes of Williams and Benetton go the non-turbo route. Yannick DaImes scores a brace of seventh places — in Monaco and Detroit — but the season is best remembered for Alliot's huge shunt during qualifying for the Mexican GP.

1989: Larrousse secures the Lamborghini V12 engine. Gerard Ducarouge's LC89 is widely praised: the team's professionalism is noted by the paddock, yet between them, DaImes, Alliot, Eric Bernard and Michele Alboreto can garner only a single point — Alliot is sixth in the Spanish GP. The season is not helped by the jailing of Larrousse's partner Didier Calmels for the shooting of his wife!

1990: Murphy's 90 has increased downforce, its Lamborghini engine is lighter and more powerful, and Lola has its second best Formula One season to date. It claims 11 points and finishes sixth in the Constructors' World Championship. Eric Bernard and Aguri Suzuki are impressive. The Frenchman finishes fourth in Monaco and sixth in the British and Hungarian GPs, but his Japanese team-mate tops with a third in front of his home fans at Suzuki: The team, however, is already in trouble by this stag:. bitter rival Ligier out-manoeuvres it to secure Lamborghini power for '91 and support from ESPO is wavering at a critical time. Murphy, meanwhile, leaves to join Leyton House.

1991: The Ford-powered L91 collects just two points in a season surrounded by controversy. Larrousse fights a running battle with the FIA over an administrative matter: his cars are entered under the Larrousse-ESPO banner, yet they are clearly the work of Broadley and Lola. This is a storm in a teacup, as Bernard (sixth in Mexico) and Suzuki (sixth in Phoenix) struggle all season. Larrousse, meanwhile, is in dire financial difficulties and splits with Lola at the end of the season.

1993: Lola builds the T93/30 for BMS Scuderia Italia. This is to run with the previous year's V12 Ferrari unit, but the project proves a disaster. Alboreto and Luca Badoer are the unfortunate drivers as the season ends with both sides involved blaming each other.

Lola in Formula One: 149 Grands Prix, 245 Starts, 45 points, 1 pole position.


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MotorSport magazine wrote:Page 22, December 1996

A HONDA IN LOLA'S CLOTHING

A Lola has won a Grand Prix. In 1967, John Surtees proved victorious in a memorable Italian Grand Prix at Monza. This was his debut of the Honda RA300, but the fact that this machine was labelled as the 'Hondola or 'Lolanda' at the time sheds some light on the matter. Surtees had begun the season in the ill-handling overweight RA273, and by the middle of the year he had persuaded the Japanese manufacturer to enlist the help of Broadley on a new design. This car was built in just six weeks at a Slough workshop, ran on Firestones sourced from Brentford and used BP fuel. It also owed a lot to the influence of the Lola T90 (especially in its suspension) that had taken Graham Hill to victory in the previous year's Indy 500 under the guise of the Red Ball Special.

After a few brief shakedown laps at Goodwood, the RA300 was taken to Italy, where little was expected of it. Once its front anti-roll bar mountings had been beefed up, Surtees qualified it ninth, 1.8sec shy of the pole-sitting Lotus of Jim Clark.

The Scot was to dominate the early stages of the race until he lost a lap with a rear puncture. Emerging from the pits, he soon caught up with the leading bunch, albeit a lap down, and dragged his team-mate Graham Hill into a huge lead.

Surtees, meanwhile, had fended off the advances of Chris Amon's Ferrari, which retired with broken suspension, and was steadily closing the gap to Jack Brabham's second-placed Brabham. Such was the pace of Clark and Hill, however, that the latter looked set to lap Surtees and Brabham on his way to victory and a Lotus one-two, when Hill's Cosworth DFV blew up with just nine laps remaining.

Incredibly, Clark now became the favourite to win, unlapping himself as he drafted by both Surtees and Brabham to take the lead. Craftily, however. Surtees used the flying Lotus to tow him up to Brabham with a view to taking second place. But this became a battle for the lead when Clark stopped on the last lap, supposedly out of petrol. Surtees took the lead as both he and Brabham were forced to swerve around the slowing Clark, and so Brabham had to plan a move at the final Parabolica corner. Unfortunately for him, the inside line of this was covered in cement dust in an effort to soak up Hill's oil. Surtees showed him the inside and the Aussie went for it, only to lock up and slide wide on the dust Surtees tucked back inside the Brabham and had just enough speed to hold it off to the line.

After the race, the Lotus mechanics went to salvage Clark's car. It fired up first time. Its fuel tank still had three gallons in it!


Autosport, 5th December 1996

Norberto Fontana’s name has now also been linked to drive alongside Riccardo Rosset.

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In the same issue, Autosport list the full entry list as known at that point for 1997.

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Information sign at Donington Park, relating to 10th December 1996

Stewart-Ford launch their 1997 challenger, but only confirm their sponsorship package that morning. But their challenger exists, and able to go testing already, in the days of unlimited testing (or at least limited by time and money, not legislation and rulebooks). This was taken at Donington Park, in the museum at the race track, in August 2015, during FE public testing.

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Autosport, 12th December 1996

The T97/30 nears completion. Tom Kristensen is no longer in the running, but Rosset and Fontana remain so…

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Autosport, Christmas edition 1996 (12th, 19th December 1996)

Lola sign up Riccardo Rosset, and not Kristensen, not Fontana, not McNish, but Vincenzo Sospiri to drive for them in 1997!

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Autosport, 2nd January 1997

Confirmation of Lola’s driver signings.

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Also in the same issue was a brief season preview of the teams. Here is Lola’s entry.

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F1 Racing, January 1997

More Bridgestone tyre testing news.

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Here is a timeline of the set-up of the Stewart GP team for comparison against Lola.

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Autosport, 16th January 1997

Vincenzo Sospiri gets a seat fitting (sitting inside the tub of the T97/30), and is expected to get a tyre contract around 2 months before the season starts!

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Autosport, 23rd January 1997

Lola is not yet a signatory to the Concorde agreement, but they and Stewart (the other new entry confirmed for 1997) are to be allowed to sign it at a later date during the season.

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And, as referenced in the above article, the News in Brief article.

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Autosport, 30th January 1997

Lola is only thought to have a deal with Bridgestone, a month-and-a-half at best before the season starts…

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F1 Racing, February 1997

F1 Racing, as a sponsor of the MasterCard Lola team, carried a ‘news’ story of the team having a stand at the Autosport Show with what would have been a T95/30 showcar.

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This issue announces Lola’s 1997 driver line-up.

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The livery used at the Autosport Show carried over into the advertising that MasterCard Lola were using to promote the team, particularly in the pages of co-sponsor, F1 Racing (this advertisement for the team featured in the February, March, and April 1997 editions of the F1 Racing magazine):

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Oh, and Stewart began testing their 1997 challenger around Christmas. Good for them.

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F1 News, 5th February 1997

This would have been the magazine’s first issue since the previous November, so they provided a section outlining what each team entered for the 1997 team had been up to over the winter. This text box provided some names of people involved with the team at this stage: Ray Boulter, Alan Harrison, Dave Luckett and Stephen Taylor. Also mentioning that they have 15 Ford engines, to be rebuilt 5 times each over the course of the season.

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In the same issue of F1 News was a winter testing update. Don’t forget that in those days, teams were free to test when and where they wanted (well, within Europe I think…).

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Autosport, 6th February 1997

Expected completion date of the T97/30 is announced, plus speculation as to which car number will be applied to which driver. And the team manager at MasterCard Lola is now Ray Boulter.

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Autosport, 13th February 1997

The date for the launch of Lola’s first in-house F1 team car, the T97/30, is finally announced!!!

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F1 News, 19th February 1997

Remember that Bamber cartoon that appeared in F1 News in 1993 above? Well, by 1997, F1 News began having cartoons based in a local pub, The Fox and Fornicator. Here is one from the pre-season featuring MasterCard Lola as the butt of the joke.

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This issue began the pre-season preview, and here is the magazine’s team-by-team preview for the two new teams for 1997, Stewart-Ford and Lola-Ford. (Autosport’s previews are below.)

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In the same issue, apparently Keith Wiggins is looking to take Pacific back to F1 again.

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Autosport, 27th February 1997

The team and the car are finally launched after several years of build-up to the event!

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It looks like the left rear has a flat-spot on it? Is that just the photo and subsequent reproduction of the magazine, or was the car really launched on second-hand tyres?! And whose second-hand tyres are they? Arrows? Stewart? Prost? Minardi?

So, the big question is: what are MasterCard Lola’s longer-term plans at this point?

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Realistic? Who knows? ;-)

F1 Racing, March 1997

I love the first line of this article of an interview with Eric Broadley: “No, I’m not going to tell you what our targets are for this year, because you’ll only come back and tell me I didn’t hit them.” Hmm. And thus the irony of the last quotation at the end! How they thought they could be better than Stewart who had a better Ford Cosworth and longer lead time into the season, I have no idea…

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And F1 Racing looked into their “Kristal Baul” for their driver season preview:

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F1 News, 5th March 1997

And here is F1 News’s coverage of the team’s launch event at the Park Lane Hilton in London.

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Here is an interview from that event at the Park Lane Hilton that Adam Cooper had with Eric Broadley.

A paragraph on Lola’s prospects in the Grand Prix-view (Preview – geddit?!?!?) for the Melbourne race. Their paragraph came at the end of the article – saving the best ‘til last?

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In the same 5th March issue, Bob Constanduros began a series of “Bob’s Burning Questions” – a paddock vox pop on a topical subject. In this issue, both Lola drivers were questioned on how they thought Bridgestone would perform. Naturally, they were going to be complimentary about one of the team’s suppliers in the lead-up to the first round, weren’t they?

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Autosport, 6th March 1997

The Lola T97/30 has gearbox gremlins in their pre-season test. Plus they broke an engine in their Santa Pod test (as pictured above). Not a great start… (As an aside, I haven’t heard much of this Ray Boulter guy…)

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And a fuller pre-season preview of the team’s prospects.

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7th to 9th March 1997, the Australian Grand Prix!

Here, to start the weekend’s proceedings of Lola’s debut at the 1997 Australian Grand Prix is the team’s coverage in the race programme.

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And here is the timetable for the weekend (again, from the above race programme):

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And in case the print is too small to read on your viewing device (the F1 sessions are in red above):

Friday 7th March 1997

1100 – 1200 Formula One Practice Session
1300 – 1400 Formula One Practice Session

Saturday 8th March 1997

0900 – 0945 Formula One Practice Session
1015 – 1100 Formula One Practice Session
1300 – 1400 Formula One Qualifying Session

Sunday 9th March 1997

0930 – 1000 Formula One Warm Up
1120 – 1130 Formula One Drivers’ Parade
1400 – 1545 1997 Qantas Australian Grand Prix – 59 laps including warm-up

You can see that the practice sessions on the Friday and the Saturday are separated by small gaps, so in the results published post-race, the practice times from each day are often combined. I have been unable, as it happens, to not find the Saturday practice sessions listed separated anywhere, and I was only able to list the Friday practice times below separately thanks to midgrid's YouTube videos, so thanks has to go to him for that.

Practice results

First Friday practice times according to midgrid's video:

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It appears to be Pedro Diniz in the second TWR-Arrows that failed to set a lap time in this session.

Times for the second practice session on the Friday that midgrid's video calls FP2 and which formula1.com calls Practice 1:

Pos No Driver Car Time Gap Laps

1 5 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:32.496 27
2 4 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams Renault 1:32.910 +0.414s 27
3 7 Jean Alesi Benetton Renault 1:33.255 +0.759s 27
4 3 Jacques Villeneuve Williams Renault 1:33.371 +0.875s 26
5 11 Ralf Schumacher Jordan Peugeot 1:33.437 +0.941s 28
6 6 Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:34.157 +1.661s 21
7 8 Gerhard Berger Benetton Renault 1:34.271 +1.775s 17
8 10 David Coulthard McLaren Mercedes 1:34.432 +1.936s 21
9 16 Johnny Herbert Sauber Petronas 1:34.593 +2.097s 29
10 9 Mika Hakkinen McLaren Mercedes 1:34.742 +2.246s 19
11 12 Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan Peugeot 1:34.777 +2.281s 27
12 14 Olivier Panis Prost Mugen Honda 1:34.927 +2.431s 16
13 1 Damon Hill Arrows Yamaha 1:35.073 +2.577s 26
14 19 Mika Salo Tyrrell Ford 1:36.142 +3.646s 30
15 17 Nicola Larini Sauber Petronas 1:36.223 +3.727s 21
16 21 Jarno Trulli Minardi Hart 1:36.392 +3.896s 16
17 18 Jos Verstappen Tyrrell Ford 1:36.716 +4.220s 24
18 23 Jan Magnussen Stewart Ford 1:37.023 +4.527s 14
19 2 Pedro Diniz Arrows Yamaha 1:38.092 +5.596s 9
20 15 Shinji Nakano Prost Mugen Honda 1:39.652 +7.156s 12
21 22 Rubens Barrichello Stewart Ford 1:40.002 +7.506s 6
22 20 Ukyo Katayama Minardi Hart 1:40.947 +8.451s 7
23 25 Ricardo Rosset Lola Ford 1:41.166 +8.670s 14
24 24 Vincenzo Sospiri Lola Ford 1:42.590 +10.094s 22

What formula1.com calls Practice 2, and are actually the combined Saturday morning practice times:

Pos No Driver Car Time Gap Laps

1 3 Jacques Villeneuve Williams Renault 1:28.594 26
2 4 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams Renault 1:30.026 +1.432s 23
3 10 David Coulthard McLaren Mercedes 1:30.305 +1.711s 26
4 6 Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:30.651 +2.057s 26
5 9 Mika Hakkinen McLaren Mercedes 1:30.674 +2.080s 23
6 5 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:30.682 +2.088s 30
7 11 Ralf Schumacher Jordan Peugeot 1:31.071 +2.477s 22
8 16 Johnny Herbert Sauber Petronas 1:31.197 +2.603s 30
9 17 Nicola Larini Sauber Petronas 1:31.281 +2.687s 21
10 14 Olivier Panis Prost Mugen Honda 1:31.303 +2.709s 26
11 8 Gerhard Berger Benetton Renault 1:31.389 +2.795s 21
12 7 Jean Alesi Benetton Renault 1:31.635 +3.041s 27
13 12 Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan Peugeot 1:32.027 +3.433s 16
14 20 Ukyo Katayama Minardi Hart 1:32.264 +3.670s 24
15 22 Rubens Barrichello Stewart Ford 1:32.826 +4.232s 16
16 19 Mika Salo Tyrrell Ford 1:33.194 +4.600s 30
17 15 Shinji Nakano Prost Mugen Honda 1:33.415 +4.821s 27
18 21 Jarno Trulli Minardi Hart 1:33.588 +4.994s 29
19 18 Jos Verstappen Tyrrell Ford 1:33.679 +5.085s 30
20 2 Pedro Diniz Arrows Yamaha 1:33.693 +5.099s 18
21 23 Jan Magnussen Stewart Ford 1:33.767 +5.173s 21
22 1 Damon Hill Arrows Yamaha 1:34.640 +6.046s 9
23 25 Ricardo Rosset Lola Ford 1:41.416 +12.822s 5
24 24 Vincenzo Sospiri Lola Ford 1:44.286 +15.692s 8

Autosport, 13th March 1997

So, how did the team fare on their debut? Let’s find out! (As if we did not already know!)

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Surely something like this was no laughing matter? Apparently, it was. :-(

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The team’s revised prospects for the first few races of the year. At least Eric Broadley is being a bit more realistic than he has been previously…

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F1 News, 19th March 1997

On the F1 Rejects podcasts, Jamie and Enoch have previously stated that at the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne, it was often hard to find Reject merchandise. But look! Someone is wearing a Lola hat! Lola had merchandise available at the 1997 Australian GP! Why can’t other reject teams do this?!?!? Lucky son of a biscuit…

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Lola features briefly in the race review (one line featured on the following page, so I reproduced the second paragraph in the quotation box below).

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F1 News, 19th March 1997 wrote: It was an object lesson for anyone who thinks you can wander into F1 with dreams of glory. Even with facilities and people such as they have at Lola, making it in F1 is playing with the big boys.


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F1 News’s post-race team-by-team, driver-by-driver review.

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And the magazine’s resident ‘parodyist’, Eff One, takes a look at Lola briefly.

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And they feature briefly in Eric Silbermann’s Prix-view to the Brazilian race!

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Autosport, 20th March 1997

Lola manage to squeeze in another test of their car! Hurrah! But how do they do?

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Autosport review how the Freshers/debutants in Australia performed. Here’s Sospiri’s summary.

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Autosport, 27th March 1997

Eric Broadley remains optimistic for Brazil (oh, come off it Eric, you were much more realistic about a fortnight ago!), while Rosset seems a little more realistic…

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F1 Racing, April 1997

F1 Racing’s results tables for the 1997 Australian Grand Prix. Interesting to note that F1 Racing sponsor a Bridgestone-tyred team, while carrying Goodyear sponsorship on their results pages… And Lola of course top the slowest-through-the-speed-trap table! (And I still rather like their pictorial of the grid – it gives an idea of the field spread, albeit without how far Lola were off the back of the grid!)

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And TWR-Arrows’s Pedro Diniz becomes the first to circumnavigate the 107% rule. But Lola didn’t… This brief news article wonders why!

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Autosport, 3rd April 1997

So, with Eric Broadley’s optimism, how did the team fare in Brazil?

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Oh dear. So the engine that Al Melling was working on might need a new home then…

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And naturally, all this made Autosport’s Top Story that week!

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A reader writes in to express their insight into Mastercard’s sponsorship scheme… (My dad equally heard nothing from MasterCard to the best of my knowledge, despite not banking with HSBC, a sponsor of Stewart.)

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And a journalist summarises the sorry account to date.

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(This issue, 3rd April 1997, seems to be the copy to get for MasterCard Lola fans…)

F1 News, 9th April 1997

Lola have apparently had their credit card revoked! (What’s a credit car?)

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The magazine’s editor, Derek Wright, gives his opinion on the Lola situation in his editorial.

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You know our Caption This thread? F1 News ran something similar across a double-page spread regularly called, “Scene At.” The Brazilian GP issue ran a photo containing both Lola drivers talking to each other.

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And another cartoon featuring the Fox and Fornicator pub.

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Autosport, 10th April 1997

Eric Broadley is not ready to quit yet!

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F1 News, 23rd April 1997

Although Lola want to return to F1 by Imola, F1 News reckons that this may not be possible.

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From the San Marino Grand Prix-view:

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Another of Bob Constanduros’s (he of F1 podium Chaaaaaaaammmmmmmaaaaaaaaaggggggnnnnnneeee fame) “Bob’s Burning Question” paddock vox pop articles. This time, it’s “What do you think of Lola’s situation?”

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Autosport, 24th April 1997

Lola F1 faces liquidation, just as Keith Wiggins’s Pacific team did!

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F1 Racing, May 1997

F1 Racing magazine seem quite sure and realistic as to Lola’s future at this point. There’s no holding back. (Don’t forget that towards the end of 1996, they carried a story of Forti talking of attempting to return to F1 after missing a number of races.)

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And there is talk of Rosset jumping ship to replace an underperforming driver at another new-for-1997 team!(As well as an administrative change to the sport as a result of what happened to Lola, and presumably to Simtek, Pacific and Forti too over 1995 and 1996.)

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Autosport, 1st May 1997

Lola not only faces liquidation, but goes into liquidation!

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Autosport, 15th May 1997

Vincenzo Sospiri tried to save the team, but it wasn’t enough.

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F1 News, 21st May 1997

MasterCard Lola has hit the wall, and may take the rest of Lola down with it. And there were only 28 members of staff at the team?!

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Autosport, 22nd May 1997

Lola goes into administration.

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F1 Racing, June 1997

An approximate break-down of Lola’s expenditure for their F1 entry. Presumably F1 Racing had access to figures, having been a sponsor of the team?

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And there is a response to an earlier article on Eric Broadley in the May issue (above) on the magazine’s letters page:

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(As an aside, I would have dared to have called Bernie an ‘old man’! Compared to a teenager, as I was at the time, a man beyond retirement age would have been an ‘old man’!)

F1 News, 4th June 1997

Lola into administration. Either Prodrive or a CART team may wish to buy Lola!

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F1 News, 25th June 1997

The MasterCard sponsorship is to transfer over to Jordan, using the same crowdfunding initiative, but this time, not as title sponsor.

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Autosport, 3rd July 1997

Lola’s former head of marketing, Brett Trafford, is looking to buy Lola Cars.

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F1 News, 7th July 1997

No mention of Zoran Stefanovic, and a bit vague, but it’s Lola news, and it’s Vincenzo Sospiri news too.

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Autosport, 10th July 1997

Zoran Stefanovic (now without the ‘h’ at the end of his surname, and is Yugoslavian again, rather than Czech…) is apparently buying equipment!

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Autosport, 24th July 1997

Eric Broadley will not be buying Lola.

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Autosport, 31st July 1997

Zoran Stefanovic, who is now apparently Croatian (!), has bought the remnants from Lola.

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F1 Racing, August 1997

Wonder how this was financed? (The MasterCard bit…)

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F1 News, 6th August 1997

A big list of names forming a consortium to buy Lola, not many of whom currently ring any bells in my head (apart from Ben Bowlby, he of DeltaWing fame).

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Autosport, 14th August 1997

Eric Broadley may actually be in the running to buy a section of the Lola company after all.

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Autosport, 21st August 1997

The management buyout of Lola, led by Eric Broadley, has hit difficulties.

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Autosport, 11th September 1997

Yet another potential buyer for Lola has entered the ring, the Irish Martin Birrane. Could this be who we have been waiting for?

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F1 News, 8th October 1997

Martin Birrane to buy Lola. Elsewhere on this forum, it has been pointed out that a T97/30 appears to be at Mondello Park. Presumably Birrane’s links to the racetrack is the link to explain that?

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F1 Racing, November 1997

Al Melling, with his MCD firm, completed the work on the Lola engine anyway, and tried to find a home for it.

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F1 News, 5th November 1997

Pacific finally closes down entirely (F3000 and sportscars) and employees are looking to find work at Lola, just as Keith Wiggins did and will do so.

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Autosport, 27th November 1997

When discussing BAR entering the sport, Autosport look back at recent successful and not-so-successful recent entries into the sport, including Lola. Wonder how BAR worked out? ;-)

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F1 Racing, December 1997

F1 Racing’s readers rated the drivers of 1997 in a poll:

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And just in case you wondered which drivers could have been placed between the two Lola drivers?

As voted for by readers of F1 Racing:

19. Pedro Diniz
20. Vincenzo Sosperi
21. Jan Magnussen
22. Norberto Fontana
23. Ukyo Katayama
24. Tarso Marquez
25. Shinji Nakano
26. Gianni Morbidelli
27. Nicola Larini
28. Ricardo Rosset

There were just 28 drivers…

Autosport, 4th December 1997

Keith Wiggins’s relationship to Lola is spelt out.

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F1 News, 3rd March 1998

Frank Dernie, formerly of Arrows, is to help rebuild the Lola firm.

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And another ‘Caption This’/’Scene At…’ gag at MasterCard’s expense…

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Autosport, 26th February and 12th March 1998

Keith Wiggins is definitely back at Lola as their US vice-president, and they are rebuilding their ChampCar market.

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F1 News, 17th March 1998

This edition of “Bob’s Burning Question” discusses TWR building an entire car package, but this was equally Lola’s intention the season before, so seems relevant here.

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F1 News, 5th September 1998

There will be space for a Formula 1 team to use this windtunnel? Two years too late, Lola!

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F1 Racing, November 1998

Al Melling was still trying to get his engine company competing in F1. After all, if Brian Hart, Cosworth and Mugen could do it…

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Autosport, 10th December 1998

Al Melling had not given up on his idea of running an F1 engine… All hail, the Powertech V10! Wonder what its performance figures were like compared to the Ford engine within the Lola, and compared to other engines from the 1999 season (when this would have run)? Better or worse than the Mechachrome?

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Autosport, 17th December 1998

As BAR run their 1999 car for the first time, Autosport consider how other ‘new’ teams compared on debut.

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And as a treat (or not if you’re concerned about download limits, in which case I am slightly sorry), some of the pictures/drawing of the Lola isolated/cropped from the above articles, followed by some photos found elsewhere on the internet.

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And some extra images from Google search (added 3rd August 2015):

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Enoch Law, F1 Rejects website, January 2003 wrote:
https://web.archive.org/web/20140111011526/http://www.f1rejects.com/teams/lola/profile.html


ORIGINAL REJECTS PROFILE OF MASTERCARD LOLA


'Be prepared' has maximum value in F1

Modern Formula One is more about professionalism and preparation than ever before, with as little as humanly possible left to chance. The amount of testing that many teams do per year is testament to that. So too, for example, Toyota's entry into the top league in 2002. By the start of the preceding 2001 season, the Toyota engine had already been conceived, and test chassis had been built in readiness for a full year of testing by Mika Salo and Allan McNish. They were then amongst the first teams to unveil their 2002 car, and the level of preparation showed when Salo scored points on the team's debut. When the Stewart team decided to enter Grand Prix racing in the 1997 season, they declared its intention to do so as early as January 1996, and by December that year, a full three months before its first race, the Stewart SF1 had been launched. That gave them a full three months to sort out the teething problems of the car, and to turn it into a reasonably competitive proposition. And, despite the unreliability of the Ford engine in 1997, the Stewarts of Rubens Barrichello and Jan Magnussen ran respectably in the midfield throughout the season.

There may be exceptions to the rule, but generally it holds true that preparation is everything in F1. Now, Stewart was not the only team to enter F1 in 1997. But while the tartan tearaways were a demonstration of the right way to go about things, the other attempt became a cautionary tale of woe, showing exactly how not to mount a Grand Prix challenge. The team in question was none other than the works effort of Eric Broadley's famous Lola marque. On paper, with no little shortage of experience behind the name, it should never have been this way. Lola had been founded by Broadley in 1958, and had been in F1 since the 1960s, building cars for other teams. In 1962, the Lola 4 had been designed for the Bowmaker Racing Team, and John Surtees took the car to pole position in its debut outing, as well as two 2nds, a 4th and two 5ths throughout the season. The cars were then run especially by Reg Parnell's team in 1963 with little success. In addition to F1 cars, Lola also began building machines for F2 racing, with the BMW works team amongst its customers in the late 1960s.

A lengthy association with F1

In 1974 and 1975, Graham Hill's Embassy Racing team ran a Lola chassis, whilst Lolas dominated F5000 in the 1970s. In 1983, Lola had entered CART for the first time with the Newman/Haas team, and by 1988 had become the chassis of choice. 1985 and 1986 had also seen another F1 effort with Alan Jones and Patrick Tambay in the Team Haas cars, before Lola built cars for the Larrousse team from 1987 to 1991, recording a 3rd place in the 1990 Japanese GP with Aguri Suzuki. The make's last F1 chassis for another team had been the disastrous T93/30 for BMS Scuderia Italia in 1993. It had always been Broadley's dream, however, to enter a Lola Grand Prix team in its own right. After a radical chassis for 1994 had never been built, a works Lola effort had been touted since 1995, when an F1 prototype had been built and given some test runs by Allan McNish. And, since Reynard had overthrown the monopoly that Lola once had in F3000 and CART, an F1 team would serve to re-establish the marque in the international motorsport scene. This was the case even though in 1996, when F3000 switched to its present single-make formula, Lola won the contract to build the chassis.

It seemed as though the dream would become reality, when in 1996 Broadley put together a sponsorship deal with credit card giant MasterCard, with the aim of entering the World Championship in 1998. And it seemed like a step in the right direction to get the financial package together first, MasterCard putting in $35 million, not a massive sum by F1 standards but healthy enough to get the team started. An engine deal to run Ford Zetec-R V8s was also put in place. Although this would be several years old, being the engines Sauber ran in 1995, at least it was a reliable enough unit. The MasterCard deal was said to be 'innovative', in that it depended upon using Lola's racing activities to draw in customers to the credit card program. This was never a guaranteed success in the first place, and it meant that cash was only trickling rather than flowing into the team. The situation was made much worse when MasterCard decided in November 1996 that it wanted Lola to race in 1997. This edict meant that the Lola effort was soon fast-tracked on a highway to F1 hell. By the time Stewart was launching their F1 car, Lola was just beginning to design theirs.

Rosset and Sospiri signed to do battle

The T97/30 was quickly penned at Lola's base at Huntington. Despite the rush, Broadley was confident, saying: "We have the experience, the commitment and the desire to succeed in F1. We have knowledge from our composites shop, our engineers cross over from both programs and the wind tunnel work we have done at Cranfield with the Indycar is directly applicable to F1. We have basically worked at lightening components down to F1 needs. We have taken the best ideas from specialists in the wind tunnel, aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics and the like to produce the final machine." But despite all this reference to wind tunnel work, the amazing thing was that the T97/30 never actually saw a wind tunnel - there was just not the time. Yet Broadley still believed that the Lola could defeat the new Stewarts: "If we don't beat them, then we deserve to be given a good kick up the backside. With our experience and back-up, it should be no problem." Furthermore, in response to suggestions that his cars would struggle to meet the 107% qualifying mark, he said: "The 107% rule is actually quite a large margin. If we can't do that, then we really shouldn't be in it."

His words would soon haunt him. A deal was struck to run Bridgestone tyres, and Vincenzo Sospiri and Ricardo Rosset signed on to drive. They had been team-mates in the 1995 F3000 championship, in which they came 1st and 2nd respectively, so they were a capable pairing. But the signs were ominous. With the T97/30 launched on February 20, there was only time for a shakedown and no serious testing before the cars were shipped to Australia for the first round of the 1997 championship. Yet those brief runs were enough to show that the cars were going to be horrendously slow. In addition, there were gremlins with the gearbox, but the biggest problem lay with the aerodynamics. The car just could not generate enough mechanical or aerodynamic grip, and could therefore not get the tyres up to temperature. Amazingly, the drivers reported that the car had too much drag in a straight line, compromising their top speed, but the same package then in turn could not generate enough downforce going through the turns, thereby compromising cornering speed as well. The T97/30 was fundamentally flawed, and the lack of wind-tunnel time had made it even more of a joke.

Way off 107% with little improvement on the horizon

Despite their rather fetching paint-job, the crew had to work around the clock for several days prior to the start of practice in Melbourne just to ensure that both drivers would get some track time. But immediately it was clear that Lola's trip down under would be entirely fruitless. On the Friday both drivers had problems balancing the car, and while the best times dipped into the 1 minute 32s bracket, Rosset had only managed a 1:41.166, and Sospiri a 1:42.590. It was desperately clear that they would have to find a few extra seconds if they were to stand any chance of qualifying the next day. But improvement was simply not forthcoming. On the Saturday morning, instead of going quicker, both cars actually went slower, Rosset recording 1:41.416 and Sospiri doing a 1:44.286. This when virtually all other cars were going quicker, Jacques Villeneuve in the Williams recording the (then) fastest lap ever seen at Albert Park of 1:28.594, some 13 seconds faster than Rosset and almost 16 seconds over Sospiri. People were justifiably asking whether or not the T97/30 could be any faster than an F3000 car.

The writing was well and truly on the wall. Indeed, when Villeneuve put in one of the most dominant qualifying performances in recent memory, recording a 1:29.369 time, some 1.7s faster than 2nd-placed team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen, that left a 107% cut-off mark of 1:35.625. Only 21 of the 24 entries made it below that time, with Pedro Diniz in the Arrows only managing 1:35.972, despite having gone faster than that in practice. After some grovelling by Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw, Diniz was allowed to start, but nothing was ever going to give the Lolas that kind of break. The best that Sospiri could do was 1:40.972, while Rosset blew out to a 1:42.086. Never in anyone's wildest dreams would Broadley's cars be allowed to start. Simply, neither driver had been able to find anything remotely resembling a grip-conducive set-up all weekend. Said Sospiri: "It was always going to be a tough job. We all tried to make it work but we need more track time to find the balance and how to generate more grip." Rosset lamented: "I know that we will be expected to do better for the next race and I do need to show the many race fans at home that we are progressing as a new team."

F1 effort crumbles in debt and their GP sojourn is history

There were indeed new parts and more development planned for the future, as well as a new, in-house built V10 engine, so Rosset would have thought that he had reason to be optimistic after the pathetic showing in Australia. But there was to be no next race. Both drivers went to Brazil, only to read in the newspapers that their team had collapsed. In the space of a few short months, Lola's Grand Prix arm had built up some 6 million pounds in debt, half of which was owed to parent company Lola Cars. The risky sponsorship program with MasterCard had not helped things at all. The MasterCard Lola debacle of 1997 almost spelled the end of the great Lola name altogether. Lola Cars itself went into receivership shortly afterwards, and was only saved when Martin Birrane bought the company from Broadley. Since then, in an upturn of fortunes, with Reynard having folded Lola once again has a monopoly in CART as well as in F3000, and a burgeoning sports car program. However, Formula One looks out of the picture, and the 1997 farce serves as a reminder to anyone thinking of entering the top flight of just how tough Grand Prix racing can be.
Last edited by dr-baker on 18 Oct 2018, 13:22, edited 30 times in total.

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by Aerospeed 06 Mar 2014, 22:30
Fantastic insight on MasterCard Lola! :)

Though, I thought Lola wanted in F1 in 1998 but MasterCard wanted in earlier?

And Broadley did seem like a fellow with no foresight...

Mistakes in potatoes will ALWAYS happen :P
Trulli bad puns...
IN JAIL NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM
by Jocke1 06 Mar 2014, 22:45
Image

Rosset has a fair old bag of talent
:|

I wonder whatever happened to that old bag. Did he lose it? Did he sell it? Give it to charity?

Great job, Doctor.

I won't forget your contributions, Enoch.
Thank you for the memories.
by dr-baker 06 Mar 2014, 23:31
Jocke1 wrote:
Rosset has a fair old bag of talent
:|

I wonder whatever happened to that old bag. Did he lose it? Did he sell it? Give it to charity?

Great job, Doctor.

Where a talent can mean money/currency, it's obvious that Rosset used it as any paydriver would - he bought the drive with his bag of talents!

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by Backmarker 07 Mar 2014, 10:53
I feel sorry for Vincenzo Sospiri. He was Michael Schumacher's karting idol, won the F3000 title (albeit at the 5th attempt), spent years testing for Simtek and Benetton, is really happy to finally get his chance in Formula One, fails to qualify an awful car, the team pulls out before he gets another try, he tries to essentially buy the team in order to keep it going and let him have another crack at Formula One, but his efforts fail. All that remains for his racing career is some races in American open-wheelers, followed by two 24 Hours of Le Mans entries where he failed to finish.

The Iceman Waiteth
What if Kimi Räikkönen hadn't got his chance in 2001?
by midgrid 07 Mar 2014, 19:42
What a great post!

And this thread seems like the ideal place to "spam" my YouTube videos of the Lolas in action! Australia FP1 and FP2.

"One day Bruno told me that he had heard the engine momentarily making a strange sound; his suspicion was that all the cylinders had been operating."
--Nigel Roebuck
by dr-baker 07 Mar 2014, 22:45
midgrid wrote:What a great post!

And this thread seems like the ideal place to "spam" my YouTube videos of the Lolas in action! Australia FP1 and FP2.

Thanks for posting those. Just adds a bit to the story. With the first clip (from FP1), it intrigues me how the driver's head is nodding about a bit at 1:58 or so. Plus the circuit commentator describing Eric Broadley as an old man at 4:25...

Lola remains one of my equal favourite reject teams, alongside Simtek and Super Aguri. But they often remind me of this song. Lola possibly would have been a team where they served you champagne which tasted just like Coca-Cola, knowing how limited their budget was...

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by eytl 08 Mar 2014, 12:06
Awesome stuff. In fact, so awesome that I am very tempted to do something we have steadfastly refused to do for the last 10 years or so.

A quick bit of F1 Rejects site history. A lot of the content on the site was first written in 1999-2001 when Jamie and I had time (infinitely more time than we do now, at a time when we did not have jobs and, in my case, no wife - not even a girlfriend! - or children). Most of those articles were very amateur and based on what info we could dredge up from the few magazines we had (including a very incomplete set of mid-90s Autosports) and from this relatively new thing called the internet, which itself only contained limited information at the time.

From around 2001-03 we decided to revisit all the existing articles to make them read a bit better and because more information on the net was available.

But since then we have decided to concentrate on writing new articles as time drastically reduced and we realised that if we kept re-writing the old stuff each time new information was unearthed (or, in the case of active drivers, as they continued to race), then firstly we'd never be able to keep up, and secondly we wouldn't have time to research new material. The only exception I can really think of is that we re-wrote the Luca Badoer story after 2009, for obvious reasons.

Earlier similar posts about other reject teams had already sorely tempted me to go back and "beef up" their otherwise broad brushstroke team profiles, but I never got around to it.

But MasterCard Lola is different. It is, after all, on par with the Andrea Modas and Lifes of this world.

So, who would like to see a rewrite of the MasterCard Lola saga based on the info dr-baker has put together?

by dr-baker 08 Mar 2014, 12:10
I would be honoured if this were to happen. But would there be a way of archiving the original, like transferring it to Reject Centrale, or would it be a total replacement?

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by eytl 08 Mar 2014, 12:21
dr-baker wrote:I would be honoured if this were to happen. But would there be a way of archiving the original, like transferring it to Reject Centrale, or would it be a total replacement?


Probably a total replacement ... and a total improvement! I'd give you the credit for much of the research as well. Although we could consider keeping the old version and being able to link to it.

Frankly many of the old articles (which are also the majority of the articles) are a bit of an embarrassment these days (and hence I would be glad to consign them to the never-never), as is the website design as a whole, but there is a certain antiquity to it and, as I said before, there's just no time to go back and revisit the old stuff.

by dr-baker 08 Mar 2014, 12:54
Just been back and made a small addition of this, that might just confirm how far off the pace they really were:

Image

And for reference, all of these as you can tell are from Autosport magazine. But I also happen to have all the F1 News magazines from the same period (including the missing 1995 period). Enoch, would you like to wait until I add those too (which will be in either June or September probably) or just base it on "Autosport or it didn't happen"?

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by Turbogirl 08 Mar 2014, 15:00
Brilliant research, dr-baker. Very entertaining to read all these articles. I especially like the way Stefanovic(h) "changed" his nationality faster than his underpants. :lol: With this he almost tops the shady figure Cecilia Ekström was in the eighties.

I feel sorry for Broadley, though. Such an iconic figure in F1, but with so little luck when it comes to building a competitive car or finding suitable sponsors or even a powerful engine. What I didn't even know was that Ray Boulter was involved in this. He was already involved in the RAM Operation during the eighties and was the Technical Director of Brabham in 1992, before they went under.

Broadley, Boulter, Wiggins and Sospiri: Four people with absolutely no luck in F1. Too bad actually, given their promising careers until then...

by dr-baker 08 Mar 2014, 22:23
Backmarker wrote:Does anyone know if Andrea Montermini ever actually drove the Lola T97/30? I get the impression that he never did, though Lola did have three cars.

The above seems to cover just about every official test that Lola ran the cars in, and it does not seem as though he did. Unless Autosport didn't report it? But he doesn't really seem to get a mention in those articles at all. Lola did so little actual testing that I suppose it's a no.

Image
Is that actually a flat-spotted tyre, or is that just the way the photo was taken? Launching with used tyres would have been rather rejectful...

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by eytl 09 Mar 2014, 11:05
dr-baker wrote:
Backmarker wrote:Does anyone know if Andrea Montermini ever actually drove the Lola T97/30? I get the impression that he never did, though Lola did have three cars.

The above seems to cover just about every official test that Lola ran the cars in, and it does not seem as though he did. Unless Autosport didn't report it? But he doesn't really seem to get a mention in those articles at all. Lola did so little actual testing that I suppose it's a no.


When we interviewed Montermini back in 2005 he confirmed that he had been signed as a Lola test driver, but from his answer I get the impression he never drove the car:

http://www.f1rejects.com/interviews/montermini/index.html

by Faustus 14 Mar 2014, 16:48
This is great dr-baker! Thank you for compiling it!

Following Formula 1 since 1984.
Avid collector of Formula 1 season guides and reviews.
Collector of reject merchandise and 1/43rd scale reject model cars.
by dr-baker 14 Mar 2014, 17:35
Faustus wrote:This is great dr-baker! Thank you for compiling it!

You're welcome. I wanted my 10,000th post to be special, and what better way than this?

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by dr-baker 24 Mar 2014, 16:33
f1-gast wrote:If you dont mind i will use some of your photos to add them to my Lola T97/30 Album on unracedf1

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 742&type=3

I do not mind at all. You appear to have some great photos there already - thanks for linking to it!

EDIT: This photo was interesting, for a long time, I was wondering who the sponsor above the Track and Field was, no photo seem to have it in focus or at the right angle, but this photo makes it clear:

Image
(Sorry for resaving it to my Photobucket account to repost here - I don't know how to directly link to Facebook photos).

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by dr-baker 24 Mar 2014, 16:51
Sorry for the double post, but I thought that this might warrent a separate post. Just been through the photos above and thought I would list all the various sponsor names/names that could be found on the car. Some of them towards the bottom of the list are obviously just parts suppliers (like OZ Wheels, I would assume), whereas others will be actual sponsors, like the magazines and Pennzoil. Wonder how this list compares to the number of sponsor names currently on this year's McLaren or Marussia?

MasterCard
Men's Health
F1 Racing
Track and Field
Lycra
Safra
Cosmogas
New G.P.R. (personal sponsor of Sospiri?)
Pennzoil
Ford
Bridgestone
OZ Wheels

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by dr-baker 24 Mar 2014, 21:07
f1-gast wrote:If i can still reach Ben from Lola Cars i will ask him if he has list of all the sponsors from Lola.

He send me those photo's in the time.

That will be interesting, to see if there were any other sponsors that did not end up on the car!

I don't remember F1 Racing make a big deal ever out of having been an F1 sponsor, and I am not sure they ever got back into team sponsorship. Unless someone can prove me wrong?

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by AndreaModa 24 Mar 2014, 21:35
dr-baker wrote:Sorry for the double post, but I thought that this might warrent a separate post. Just been through the photos above and thought I would list all the various sponsor names/names that could be found on the car. Some of them towards the bottom of the list are obviously just parts suppliers (like OZ Wheels, I would assume), whereas others will be actual sponsors, like the magazines and Pennzoil. Wonder how this list compares to the number of sponsor names currently on this year's McLaren or Marussia?

MasterCard
Men's Health
F1 Racing
Track and Field
Lycra
Safra
Cosmogas
New G.P.R. (personal sponsor of Sospiri?)
Pennzoil
Ford
Bridgestone
OZ Wheels


I suspect (although I could be wrong) that the publishers behind Men's Health, F1 Racing and Track and Field might have done the team some form of contra deal each for advertising, or press coverage. As those magazines aren't owed by a single publisher I'd say this lends credence to this sort of deal. If it were one publisher it might have been a financial deal but three different ones suggests otherwise in my view.

Lycra and Safra were both Rosset's sponsors, and I'd bet Cosmogas were a sponsor of Sospiri as they are an Italian company.

I'd also say Pennzoil were only on the car as a supplier of fuels/lubricants to the team. The logos aren't that big when you consider the size of the sidepods!

I want my MTV...Simtek Ford

My Motorsport Photos

@DNPQ_
by dr-baker 24 Mar 2014, 21:48
AndreaModa wrote:I suspect (although I could be wrong) that the publishers behind Men's Health, F1 Racing and Track and Field might have done the team some form of contra deal each for advertising, or press coverage. As those magazines aren't owed by a single publisher I'd say this lends credence to this sort of deal. If it were one publisher it might have been a financial deal but three different ones suggests otherwise in my view.

Lycra and Safra were both Rosset's sponsors, and I'd bet Cosmogas were a sponsor of Sospiri as they are an Italian company.

I'd also say Pennzoil were only on the car as a supplier of fuels/lubricants to the team. The logos aren't that big when you consider the size of the sidepods!

Sounds plausible about the magazines. That's the kind of deal that MTV and Simtek had, isn't it?

And yeah, the Pennzoil logos could have been bigger, but I like the way they seem so clear and prominent (to my eye!) despite that!

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by AndreaModa 24 Mar 2014, 22:00
dr-baker wrote:
AndreaModa wrote:I suspect (although I could be wrong) that the publishers behind Men's Health, F1 Racing and Track and Field might have done the team some form of contra deal each for advertising, or press coverage. As those magazines aren't owed by a single publisher I'd say this lends credence to this sort of deal. If it were one publisher it might have been a financial deal but three different ones suggests otherwise in my view.

Lycra and Safra were both Rosset's sponsors, and I'd bet Cosmogas were a sponsor of Sospiri as they are an Italian company.

I'd also say Pennzoil were only on the car as a supplier of fuels/lubricants to the team. The logos aren't that big when you consider the size of the sidepods!

Sounds plausible about the magazines. That's the kind of deal that MTV and Simtek had, isn't it?

And yeah, the Pennzoil logos could have been bigger, but I like the way they seem so clear and prominent (to my eye!) despite that!


As title sponsor I would have thought Simtek would have had a bit of cash from MTV, at least in 1994. I know they lessened their involvement in 95 but I still think some money was attached. I doubt they'd have given away the main sponsor package, effectively for free.

I want my MTV...Simtek Ford

My Motorsport Photos

@DNPQ_
by Pieman 17 Apr 2014, 19:31
Would just like to say a huge thankyou for this epic piece - I broadcast weekly on a UK-based online radio station called Downforce UK, and we are currently telling this very story on the air with full credit to F1 Rejects and its researchers. Click below to find out how you can listen in (second link is direct to the station)...

https://www.facebook.com/downforceuk?fref=ts
http://www.spreaker.com/user/jakesanson ... on-preview

Forza Forti
by dr-baker 17 Apr 2014, 21:31
Pieman wrote:Would just like to say a huge thankyou for this epic piece - I broadcast weekly on a UK-based online radio station called Downforce UK, and we are currently telling this very story on the air with full credit to F1 Rejects and its researchers. Click below to find out how you can listen in (second link is direct to the station)...

https://www.facebook.com/downforceuk?fref=ts
http://www.spreaker.com/user/jakesanson ... on-preview

I have only just noticed this, two hours after you posted. You said you were "currently" broadcasting, meaning I assume it is over now (I haven't checked), but in any case, I assume I would have missed much of it. Is there a listen-again feature, or a podcast option? Either would be good.

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by Ataxia 21 May 2014, 10:28
MadGaz85 wrote:Recently discovered this on YouTube, the Lola team were briefly included in F1 97 on the PlayStation...using McLaren's livery!

http://youtu.be/zNKUbdDhDK4?t=2m48s

I also discovered Murray Walker's commentary relating to Lola in the game files :) Click here.


Oh wow, that's a quality find! I wish Bizarre had left Lola in-game...

you gotta eat the lettuce
by MadGaz85 21 May 2014, 19:25
I reckon there's a chance they might still be on the disc somewhere, although my hacking skills aren't exactly stellar!

If the game was made these days, they probably would have been kept in, as the licence holders have to include the full line up from the first round (Hence why Ide was in F1 06/CE)
by Verde 25 Jul 2014, 18:38
AndreaModa wrote:
dr-baker wrote:Sorry for the double post, but I thought that this might warrent a separate post. Just been through the photos above and thought I would list all the various sponsor names/names that could be found on the car. Some of them towards the bottom of the list are obviously just parts suppliers (like OZ Wheels, I would assume), whereas others will be actual sponsors, like the magazines and Pennzoil. Wonder how this list compares to the number of sponsor names currently on this year's McLaren or Marussia?

MasterCard
Men's Health
F1 Racing
Track and Field
Lycra
Safra
Cosmogas
New G.P.R. (personal sponsor of Sospiri?)
Pennzoil
Ford
Bridgestone
OZ Wheels


I suspect (although I could be wrong) that the publishers behind Men's Health, F1 Racing and Track and Field might have done the team some form of contra deal each for advertising, or press coverage. As those magazines aren't owed by a single publisher I'd say this lends credence to this sort of deal. If it were one publisher it might have been a financial deal but three different ones suggests otherwise in my view.

Lycra and Safra were both Rosset's sponsors, and I'd bet Cosmogas were a sponsor of Sospiri as they are an Italian company.

I'd also say Pennzoil were only on the car as a supplier of fuels/lubricants to the team. The logos aren't that big when you consider the size of the sidepods!


Let me just make a little correction here: Track and Field is not a magazine but rather a Brazilian clothing company owned by... Ricardo Rosset himself.

AFAIK, Rosset set the company up during his Formula 3 times. Note that his family was involved with Lycra company and for him it wasn't that big of a challenge to get raw material for his products.

Rumors say here that Ricardo tells to his employees that he used to be a motorsport champion who won several times in Formula 1. :lol:
At least he was friendly enough to get into my blog to praise me for an article I wrote about him in which I said he was by no means the worst Brazilian driver ever (hey, PPD, it's with you).

http://www.bandeiraverde.com.br

The reject (and non-reject) side of motorsport. In Portuguese.
by dr-baker 25 Jul 2014, 19:46
Verde wrote:Let me just make a little correction here: Track and Field is not a magazine but rather a Brazilian clothing company owned by... Ricardo Rosset himself.

AFAIK, Rosset set the company up during his Formula 3 times. Note that his family was involved with Lycra company and for him it wasn't that big of a challenge to get raw material for his products.

Rumors say here that Ricardo tells to his employees that he used to be a motorsport champion who won several times in Formula 1. :lol:
At least he was friendly enough to get into my blog to praise me for an article I wrote about him in which I said he was by no means the worst Brazilian driver ever (hey, PPD, it's with you).

That's really interesting- I didn't know that. Although I don't think I would like to see Rosset dressed up in Lycra... Presumably it was due to him that Lycra also featured on the car?

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by dr-baker 16 Jan 2015, 12:43
Just did a bit of editing in the first post: putting the dates of articles in bold and underlined, a note to say that I now have Autosport magazines from 1995 and will check for relevant articles from there in due course, and, as the main website is down, mentioning that the link to the original F1 Rejects article now no longer takes you there. However, with a bit of Googling, the article can be found stored elsewhere on the internet (here). For the sake of preserving what has gone before, I am reproducing Enoch's original work here. According to the link, it was last updated just over 12 years ago, on 3rd January 2003.

Enoch Law, F1 Rejects website, January 2003 wrote:PROFILE

'Be prepared' has maximum value in F1

Modern Formula One is more about professionalism and preparation than ever before, with as little as humanly possible left to chance. The amount of testing that many teams do per year is testament to that. So too, for example, Toyota's entry into the top league in 2002. By the start of the preceding 2001 season, the Toyota engine had already been conceived, and test chassis had been built in readiness for a full year of testing by Mika Salo and Allan McNish. They were then amongst the first teams to unveil their 2002 car, and the level of preparation showed when Salo scored points on the team's debut. When the Stewart team decided to enter Grand Prix racing in the 1997 season, they declared its intention to do so as early as January 1996, and by December that year, a full three months before its first race, the Stewart SF1 had been launched. That gave them a full three months to sort out the teething problems of the car, and to turn it into a reasonably competitive proposition. And, despite the unreliability of the Ford engine in 1997, the Stewarts of Rubens Barrichello and Jan Magnussen ran respectably in the midfield throughout the season.

There may be exceptions to the rule, but generally it holds true that preparation is everything in F1. Now, Stewart was not the only team to enter F1 in 1997. But while the tartan tearaways were a demonstration of the right way to go about things, the other attempt became a cautionary tale of woe, showing exactly how not to mount a Grand Prix challenge. The team in question was none other than the works effort of Eric Broadley's famous Lola marque. On paper, with no little shortage of experience behind the name, it should never have been this way. Lola had been founded by Broadley in 1958, and had been in F1 since the 1960s, building cars for other teams. In 1962, the Lola 4 had been designed for the Bowmaker Racing Team, and John Surtees took the car to pole position in its debut outing, as well as two 2nds, a 4th and two 5ths throughout the season. The cars were then run especially by Reg Parnell's team in 1963 with little success. In addition to F1 cars, Lola also began building machines for F2 racing, with the BMW works team amongst its customers in the late 1960s.

A lengthy association with F1

In 1974 and 1975, Graham Hill's Embassy Racing team ran a Lola chassis, whilst Lolas dominated F5000 in the 1970s. In 1983, Lola had entered CART for the first time with the Newman/Haas team, and by 1988 had become the chassis of choice. 1985 and 1986 had also seen another F1 effort with Alan Jones and Patrick Tambay in the Team Haas cars, before Lola built cars for the Larrousse team from 1987 to 1991, recording a 3rd place in the 1990 Japanese GP with Aguri Suzuki. The make's last F1 chassis for another team had been the disastrous T93/30 for BMS Scuderia Italia in 1993. It had always been Broadley's dream, however, to enter a Lola Grand Prix team in its own right. After a radical chassis for 1994 had never been built, a works Lola effort had been touted since 1995, when an F1 prototype had been built and given some test runs by Allan McNish. And, since Reynard had overthrown the monopoly that Lola once had in F3000 and CART, an F1 team would serve to re-establish the marque in the international motorsport scene. This was the case even though in 1996, when F3000 switched to its present single-make formula, Lola won the contract to build the chassis.

It seemed as though the dream would become reality, when in 1996 Broadley put together a sponsorship deal with credit card giant MasterCard, with the aim of entering the World Championship in 1998. And it seemed like a step in the right direction to get the financial package together first, MasterCard putting in $35 million, not a massive sum by F1 standards but healthy enough to get the team started. An engine deal to run Ford Zetec-R V8s was also put in place. Although this would be several years old, being the engines Sauber ran in 1995, at least it was a reliable enough unit. The MasterCard deal was said to be 'innovative', in that it depended upon using Lola's racing activities to draw in customers to the credit card program. This was never a guaranteed success in the first place, and it meant that cash was only trickling rather than flowing into the team. The situation was made much worse when MasterCard decided in November 1996 that it wanted Lola to race in 1997. This edict meant that the Lola effort was soon fast-tracked on a highway to F1 hell. By the time Stewart was launching their F1 car, Lola was just beginning to design theirs.

Rosset and Sospiri signed to do battle

The T97/30 was quickly penned at Lola's base at Huntington. Despite the rush, Broadley was confident, saying: "We have the experience, the commitment and the desire to succeed in F1. We have knowledge from our composites shop, our engineers cross over from both programs and the wind tunnel work we have done at Cranfield with the Indycar is directly applicable to F1. We have basically worked at lightening components down to F1 needs. We have taken the best ideas from specialists in the wind tunnel, aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics and the like to produce the final machine." But despite all this reference to wind tunnel work, the amazing thing was that the T97/30 never actually saw a wind tunnel - there was just not the time. Yet Broadley still believed that the Lola could defeat the new Stewarts: "If we don't beat them, then we deserve to be given a good kick up the backside. With our experience and back-up, it should be no problem." Furthermore, in response to suggestions that his cars would struggle to meet the 107% qualifying mark, he said: "The 107% rule is actually quite a large margin. If we can't do that, then we really shouldn't be in it."

His words would soon haunt him. A deal was struck to run Bridgestone tyres, and Vincenzo Sospiri and Ricardo Rosset signed on to drive. They had been team-mates in the 1995 F3000 championship, in which they came 1st and 2nd respectively, so they were a capable pairing. But the signs were ominous. With the T97/30 launched on February 20, there was only time for a shakedown and no serious testing before the cars were shipped to Australia for the first round of the 1997 championship. Yet those brief runs were enough to show that the cars were going to be horrendously slow. In addition, there were gremlins with the gearbox, but the biggest problem lay with the aerodynamics. The car just could not generate enough mechanical or aerodynamic grip, and could therefore not get the tyres up to temperature. Amazingly, the drivers reported that the car had too much drag in a straight line, compromising their top speed, but the same package then in turn could not generate enough downforce going through the turns, thereby compromising cornering speed as well. The T97/30 was fundamentally flawed, and the lack of wind-tunnel time had made it even more of a joke.

Way off 107% with little improvement on the horizon

Despite their rather fetching paint-job, the crew had to work around the clock for several days prior to the start of practice in Melbourne just to ensure that both drivers would get some track time. But immediately it was clear that Lola's trip down under would be entirely fruitless. On the Friday both drivers had problems balancing the car, and while the best times dipped into the 1 minute 32s bracket, Rosset had only managed a 1:41.166, and Sospiri a 1:42.590. It was desperately clear that they would have to find a few extra seconds if they were to stand any chance of qualifying the next day. But improvement was simply not forthcoming. On the Saturday morning, instead of going quicker, both cars actually went slower, Rosset recording 1:41.416 and Sospiri doing a 1:44.286. This when virtually all other cars were going quicker, Jacques Villeneuve in the Williams recording the (then) fastest lap ever seen at Albert Park of 1:28.594, some 13 seconds faster than Rosset and almost 16 seconds over Sospiri. People were justifiably asking whether or not the T97/30 could be any faster than an F3000 car.

The writing was well and truly on the wall. Indeed, when Villeneuve put in one of the most dominant qualifying performances in recent memory, recording a 1:29.369 time, some 1.7s faster than 2nd-placed team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen, that left a 107% cut-off mark of 1:35.625. Only 21 of the 24 entries made it below that time, with Pedro Diniz in the Arrows only managing 1:35.972, despite having gone faster than that in practice. After some grovelling by Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw, Diniz was allowed to start, but nothing was ever going to give the Lolas that kind of break. The best that Sospiri could do was 1:40.972, while Rosset blew out to a 1:42.086. Never in anyone's wildest dreams would Broadley's cars be allowed to start. Simply, neither driver had been able to find anything remotely resembling a grip-conducive set-up all weekend. Said Sospiri: "It was always going to be a tough job. We all tried to make it work but we need more track time to find the balance and how to generate more grip." Rosset lamented: "I know that we will be expected to do better for the next race and I do need to show the many race fans at home that we are progressing as a new team."

F1 effort crumbles in debt and their GP sojurn is history

There were indeed new parts and more development planned for the future, as well as a new, in-house built V10 engine, so Rosset would have thought that he had reason to be optimistic after the pathetic showing in Australia. But there was to be no next race. Both drivers went to Brazil, only to read in the newspapers that their team had collapsed. In the space of a few short months, Lola's Grand Prix arm had built up some 6 million pounds in debt, half of which was owed to parent company Lola Cars. The risky sponsorship program with MasterCard had not helped things at all. The MasterCard Lola debacle of 1997 almost spelled the end of the great Lola name altogether. Lola Cars itself went into receivership shortly afterwards, and was only saved when Martin Birrane bought the company from Broadley. Since then, in an upturn of fortunes, with Reynard having folded Lola once again has a monopoly in CART as well as in F3000, and a burgeoning sports car program. However, Formula One looks out of the picture, and the 1997 farce serves as a reminder to anyone thinking of entering the top flight of just how tough Grand Prix racing can be.

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by dr-baker 23 Jan 2015, 12:23
Just updated the first post with articles from MotorSport's online archives (December 1996, inserted into chronological order in the post). Links to the relevant webpages have been included. A few other snippets of news on this team also feature on searching through the archive's search function, but nothing that is not covered elsewhere.

Still working on bringing in articles from F1 News magazine, which I do own paper copies of. Lots of scanning still to do.

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by FullMetalJack 23 Jan 2015, 13:13
First time reading through this, and I realised there were 16 teams on the entry list for 1994, so we missed out on pre-qualifying.

Would Lola get the thirteenth automatic entry into qualifying proper over Simtek, Forti and Pacific, given their association with Scuderia Italia the previous year? Or would that just be irrelevant?

I like the way Snrub thinks!
by dr-baker 23 Jan 2015, 17:01
FullMetalJack wrote:First time reading through this, and I realised there were 16 teams on the entry list for 1994, so we missed out on pre-qualifying.

Would Lola get the thirteenth automatic entry into qualifying proper over Simtek, Forti and Pacific, given their association with Scuderia Italia the previous year? Or would that just be irrelevant?

Interesting question, that does not seemed to have been addressed anywhere. I am currently looking through the 1993 editions of the F1 News magazines, and I am suspecting that question will not be addressed there. (F1 News was published around 20 times a year, less frequently than Autosport: once between each GP, and a few pre- and post-season.) My guess would be that they would be considered a new entrant as Andrea Moda was in 1992. How epic would that have been though, pre-qualifying with Simtek, Pacific, Lola, and Forti?

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA

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