Lola, and its mighty T70, had won an awful lot of races over the years. A Can-Am staple it had battled the likes of McLaren for championships and been driven by drivers including John Surtees and Jackie Stewart. But in major international competition the T70 hadn't really won a whole lot. Inneligible in most of its forms from a lot of the big endurance races, the MkIII was finally a car ready to take on the big boys. The mighty V8-powered machine would be drawn up against Porsche 917, and Ferrari's 512, and blown away by the entries from the sportscar big guns.
But in 1969 it had done it. Not only winning the Daytona 24, but also coming second. Beating anything that Porsche and co. could throw at it. The T70 would always have a major international scalp to its name.
In the following decades Lolas won a lot of races, and built some incredible machines. The ludicrously powerful Champ Cars of the mid-'90s. Nissan's Group C racing R90CK, which qualified on pole for Le Mans and projects for MG and Aston Martin. But other than a few smaller titles, the name Lola appeared on very few major trophies.
And more is the shame, because Lola itself is one of the most important manufacturers of racing cars the world has seen. Successful around the world from a small base in Huntingdon, Lola punshed above its weight constantly.
This year at the Classic 24 Historic Sportscar Racing have made Lola the celebrated mark. And they celebrate in a wonderful way, by racing Lolas hard on track. From a series of quite extraordinary T70s (spyders and coupes) to some more modern fair that competed at Le Mans into the latest decade, it showcases what Lola did, and just how much we miss them.
Photography by Pete Summers and Ben Miles.