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  Article Image gallery (133) Chassis (3) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:1979 - 1981
Numbers built:15
Internal name:T290
Designed by:Bob Marston and Eric Broadley
Predecessor:Lola T297 BMW
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 31, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIntroduced in 1972, the Lola T290 and its T292 and T294 derivatives were successfully raced in the popular European Sportscar Championship. Following a very dominant performance by the factory backed Alpine team in 1975, the championship was cancelled. With it the interest in two-litre cars waned and accordingly Lola ceased production of the T294. In 1977, the demand returned and Lola introduced the T296.

Like its predecessors, the T296 was built around an aluminium monocoque with a separate rear subframe that could house a choice of engines. The most common choices were Ford Cosworth and BMW four-cylinders engines, while some French teams also opted to run the ROC-tuned Simca 'four'. The most obvious changes compared to the earlier models was the longer front and rear bodywork, designed to increase the aerodynamic efficiency.

Not aimed at a specific championship, the T296 was raced around the world, from the Italian hill climb championship, the Interserie across Europe to the revived Can-Am Challenge Cup in North America. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a single T296 was entered but it failed to reach the finish. In 1978, Lola revised the suspension geometry for an evolution dubbed the T297, which was quickly followed by the T298. These were produced well into the 1980s and raced with considerable success.

The arrival of the Group C regulations in 1982 brought an end to the sports prototype era that had started a decade earlier. A consistent and successful factor throughout this period was the constantly evolving Lola T290. At its final Le Mans outing, in 1981, the T298 capped the model's impressive career with a class win.

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  Article Image gallery (133) Chassis (3) Specifications