I.S.C. 1997: LOLA T70 & T163
Eric Broadly's Lola factory developed the T70 in 1965 for endurance racing. In 1966 the Mark 2 version of this car, without the roof, was entered in the first year of the Can-Am series and was very successful. Five of the six races that year were won by Lola's T70. John Surtees in the factory car won three and the title. It was also the last year Lola was so successful in the original Can-Am series. Starting 1967 McLaren became the leading manufacturer in the series.
This car was driven by Richard Dodkins and he finished in 7th position in
this I.S.C. race.
The T70 is one of the icons
of sportscar racing, especially in the endurance configuration as seen on these pictures.
Its bulbous body shape with the flowing lines fitted on an aluminium monocoque chassis
appeals to the imagination and it had good aerodynamics for its time. Because of the
straight back end it was nicknamed "the breadvan" as it looked much like a
delivery truck in that aspect.
The T70 was a popular car, over 100 T70's were build between 1965 and 1967. Even nowadays replica's are being made, mainly for road use, for example by Franco Sbarro in Switzerland who uses the original body moulds. These are very exclusive and probably even more expensive to buy that the original cars at the time of production.
In the Can-Am series of 1967
Lola entered T70's again, but won just one race.The somewhat underpowered cars were no
match for the more modern McLaren M6's. The latest version of the T70 was the Mark 3B.
In the I.S.C. the T70 is one of the oldest cars and because of lack of power compared to more recent cars not very competitive. But its classic looks makes up for that and gives the I.S.C. the necessary charisma.
Chris O'Neill finished this car in 17th place.
In the Can-Am series the Lola T70 was replaced by the T160 in 1968. This design was more simpler, stronger and lighter than the T70. In 1969 updates of the T160 were used, called the T162 and T163. These cars featured Chaparral like adjustable high rear wings, actually introduced by Team Surtees on the T160TS modification in 1968.
Adjustable high rear wings were pioneered by Jim Hall of the Chaparral team to generate aerodynamic downforce for better roadholding. These wings could be set to an angular position (more drag) by the driver when roadholding was preferred to top speed, and to a horizontal position (less drag) when a high top speed was needed. So during a race the driver turned the wing flat on the straights and angular during cornering by operating a lever or an extra pedal in the car. Downside was that all this demanded extra concentration of the driver and as a result adjustable high rear wings were banned for safety reasons in 1970.
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