We were determined to feature a Lola T70 from the Donington Historic Festival, but which one? As ever they all looked and sounded superb, but when we saw the ex-Wilson Fittipaldi car in the shade of a pit garage we wasted no time grabbing Simon Hadfield’s Chief Mechanic Gareth Haynes for a swift natter.
‘We’ve only just returned with it from Mugello!’ he exclaims. ‘We got a second place with it there, but before that at Barcelona it qualified on pole, set fastest lap, and won.’ Gareth knows how to prepare a fast racing car, although he’s quick to point out that the driver pairing of Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield is one of the strongest there is.
Despite a fairly unremarkable start to its racing life back in the day, this T70 is now the car to beat whether it’s running in the FIA Masters, LeMans Classic, or Classic Endurance series, and is rarely idle for long. Surprisingly though, the maintenance schedule doesn’t sound as daunting as you might think.
‘The 302cu.in. Chevy motor is very robust’ Gareth reveals. ‘We tend to pull them out after 1000 racing miles as a precaution, but there are rarely any issues to deal with despite revving them to 8,000 RPM. Having said that though, the levels of tech’ and the standard of materials is better now than it was back in the day. They’re delivering 500bhp, easily. If there’s a weak point it’s the gearbox.’
You can see the Lola racing next at the FIA Masters race at Brands Hatch on the weekend of the 24th and 25th May, where it will be dicing with Ford GT40s and giant-killing Chevron B8s and B16s.