Page 1 of 2 Next >> After winning the maiden Canadian-American Challenge Cup in 1966 with John Surtees behind the wheel, Lola struggled to keep with the rapid development of the dominating McLaren team. The British company was fairly popular with the privateers, which made the T70 based racing cars a common sight on the grids while the Lola Works team concentrated on racing in Europe.
With financial backing from cigarette brand L&M, Lola finally a new Group 7 racer from the ground up for the 1970 season. Dubbed the T220, it was a very conventional machine, especially compared to some of the other cars that debuted that year. American driver Peter Revson was drafted to drive the car. He was fairly quick, recorded two podium finishes, but was never capable of really challenging the McLarens. For 1971 Lola stepped up and developed the altogether more advanced T260 for 1971. Bob Marston was again the designer, with Lola founder Eric Broadley surviving.
Whereas the T220 featured a wide, wedge-shaped body to create downforce as possible, the wind tunnel developed T260 had a blunt nose designed to dramatically lower the lift generated under the body. The change in design philosophy was the result of several of the wedge shaped cars flipping as soon as some air got under the nose. The high pressure air under the nose was extracted through large cut-outs in the monocoque and by several small holes in the bodywork. Downforce at the rear was generated by a full width wing that was mounted relatively far forward, adding to stubby looks of the T260.
Under the fiberglass body there was a lot more that set the T260 apart from its predecessors. Apart from the large cut-outs behind the front wheels, the aluminium monocoque was fairly conventional, reaching all the way to the back of the engine. The suspension featured double wishbones both at the front and back. The brakes were planned to be fitted inboard all around to lower the unsprung weight, but prospected driver Jackie Stewart vetoed the brakes after Jochen Rindt's fatal crash in a similarly equipped Lotus F1 car. One of the artifacts of the proposed setup were the horizontally mounted front springs. Page 1 of 2 Next >>