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  Beatrice-Lola THL1 Hart
 

  Article Image gallery (13) Chassis (1) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1985
Numbers built:3
Designed by:Neil Oatley for FORCE
Successor:Beatrice-Lola THL2 Ford
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:October 23, 2009
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Click here to download printer friendly versionLegendary team owner Carl Haas had already competed successfully for nearly two decades in all major American road racing series when he entered Formula 1 towards the end of 1985. He was backed by Beatrice Foods and the Ford Motor Company and hired an all-star team of people that included former McLaren owners Teddy Mayer and Tyler Alexander as well as promising designers Neil Oatley, John Baldwin and Ross Brawn. Former World Champion Alan Jones came back from retirement to drive the new 'Beatrice-Lola.' The second part of the name was in reference to Haas being the long time Lola representative in North America. The Huntingdon manufacturer actually had nothing to do with the design, development or construction of the car.

Haas had signed an exclusive deal to use the twin-turbo Ford-Cosworth V6 engine but the all-new engine was not ready in time for the 1985 season. So for his maiden F1 season Haas had to settle for the readily available Hart straight four. The all-alloy engine featured a single turbocharger and produced around 750 bhp. It was mated to a six-speed Hewland gearbox. Oatley and his men designed a very conventional carbon fiber and aluminium honeycomb monocoque chassis that used double wishbones and push-rods on both ends. The car was built near London by a newly formed company called FORCE (Formula One Race Car Engineering ltd.). The first THL1 (Team Haas Lola) was ready for testing in the summer of 1985.

Jones first drove the Hart engined Beatrice-Lola in August and testing was concluded in time to take part in the final three Grands Prix of the season. The team used these races to learn as much as possible as they were unlikely to challenge for wins or even points with the underpowered Hart engine. For the machine's debut at Monza, the former World Champion had to start at the back of the grid. The THL1 was nearly 10 seconds off the pace. Jones' race was over after just six laps when his engine failed. The Australian suffered a similar fate at the subsequent two appearances when a radiator failure and and another blown engine caused him to retire at the 13th and 20th laps of the races respectively. It was however not all bad news as the THL1 had already picked up the pace and there was the promise of a brand new engine in 1986.

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  Article Image gallery (13) Chassis (1) Specifications