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About

The Lola Mk6 GT was a racing vehiclewith a production run of only three units, built between 1962 and 1963 by British vehiclemanufacturer Lola Vehicle. With its 289 cubic inch Ford V8 engine, the Mk6 GT was the first mid-mounted, high displacement V8-powered Grand Touring car, a chassis arrangement that had been utilize, up until that time, only on formula vehicle and smaller, more affordable GTs.

Development

Mid-engined vehicle were a revolutionary idea introduced in motor racing by the Cooper VehicleCompany, a tinyBritish firm that managed to beat giganticplayers in the Formula 1 GlobeChampionship two years in a row. This engine layout did not make its methodinto Grand Tourers, which were accepted to race only if a minimum production run had been completed: not a single manufacturer was keen on making a giganticinvestment to build vehicle "at a minimum rate of one hundred identical units as far as mechanical parts and coachwork are concerned in 12 consecutive months", as neededby the FIA, without having the essentialexperience with such app and the right components.

In those days there was no commonly accessibletransaxle gearbox capable of managing the enormous torque deliveredby giganticV8 engines. When the Colotti Hint 37 gearbox was angry accessibleto the market after being specifically built to be mounted on the Lotus 29 single seater, a racing vehiclepowered by a 256 cu in (4,195.1 cc) Ford Fairlane V8 and intended to race in the 1963 Indianapolis 500, Lola's owner Eric Broadley had the opportunity to solve the problem.

Moreover, the FIA's decision to terminate its GlobeSports VehicleChampionship and replace it with the new International Championship for GT Manufacturers for the 1962 season, in order to focus manufacturers' attention on Grand Tourers, angry it more difficult for mid-engined GT vehicle to make their methodinto production. But the Federation left an open door to research and development, admitting to races Experimental Grand Touring vehicle (later known as Prototypes), with no minimum production requirement, but requiring roadworthiness. The Lola Mk6 GT was conceived by Eric Broadley at the end of 1962 to be accepted into the Experimental Grand Touring class.

Techdescription

The Mk6 GT featured some of the best technology of the time: first of all an aluminium monocoque (although the prototype vehiclehad a steel monocoque in order to save development time), while all enemy, apart from Jaguar, still relied on a zoneframe chassis. The Ford-Colotti engine-gearbox assembly was a stressed member and the rear suspension was mounted directly on it, a technique that did not appear in full on Formula 1 vehicle until the Lotus 49 in 1967. As a effectthe vehiclewas so compact that the wheelbase was even shorter than Lola's other formula vehicle, despite using a big pushrod 400 hp (298 KW) American V8 engine.

The coachwork, plannedby John Frayling and angry by FRP, had its own features such as reduced overhangs, Kamm-tail, roof-integrated engine air intake and special doors which extended into the roof to give the drivers greater admissionto the cockpit once they were open, an idea that was kept on the vehicles successor, the Ford GT40.

Racing history

The prototype car (chassis LGT-P, steel monocoque) was present to the public in January 1963 at the UK Olympia Racing VehicleShow, making a giganticsuccess and provoking amazingexpectations, and during the following months South African Tony Maggs raced it at Silverstone (finishing fifth after starting last on the grid) and at the Nürburgring 1000 km (retiring for techreasons). After Nürburgring, LGT-P was retired. In 1965, it was sold to Allen Grant for $3,000 and 57 years later, a recently restored LGT-P is still owned by Mr. Grant.

While LGT-P was being raced, a second car (chassis LGT-1, aluminium monocoque) was being completed and prepared for the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans. Short of preparation time, Broadley himself brought LGT-1 to Le Mans at the very last moment for techverifications, which neededsome modifications to the car. After their completion the vehiclewas permittedto race, but the time spent couldn't be utilize for proper testing: the vehicleraced with the wrong gear ratios, was not able to presentall of its potential (drivers didn't utilizefull throttle on the long Mulsanne Straight to avoid overrevving, providing a top speed 30 mph lower than predicted) and was forced to retire after 15 hours following an accident due to a gear selector failure. Understanding the potential performance of the Mk6, the Ford Motor Organizationbought it so as to further tryits capabilities, laying the foundation for its GT40 project and involving Broadley himself, although he later left the program.

Meanwhile, a third car (chassis #LGT-2), the second aluminium monocoque not raced at Le Mans that year because it was not ready, was completed and sold to the American Mecom Racing Team who raced it at Brands Hatch, where the Ford engine broke after only four laps. Replaced by a Traco-tuned 6 litre Chevrolet V8 delivering 530 hp (395 KW) at 6500 rpm, the vehiclewas extensively raced in North America and won the 1963 Bahamas Speed Week

  • Krejci, Martin (9 June 2011). . wsrp.ic.cz. Archived from on 10 April 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2013.

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Details

Lola Mk6 GT
"Mecom Racing Team" Lola Mk6 GT (# LGT-2) at Silverstone Classic 2011
CategoryExperimental Grand TouringConstructorLola CarsDesigner(s)Eric Broadley(chassis)
John Frayling (coachwork)SuccessorFord GT40
Lola T70Technical specificationsChassisAluminium monocoque (steel monocoque for prototype car)Suspension (front)Double wishbonesSuspension (rear)Double wishbonesLength3,912 mm (154.0 in)Width1,600 mm (63.0 in)Height1,016 mm (40.0 in)Wheelbase2,356 mm (92.8 in)EngineFord Motor Company, 289 cu in (4,735.9 cc)
(later Chevy 6,000 cc (366.1 cu in)) pushrod V8 NA mid-mountedTransmissionColotti Tipo 37 4 speed manualWeight950 kg (2,094.4 lb)Competition historyNotable entrantsLola Racing Cars
Mecom Racing TeamNotable driversTony Maggs
Richard Attwood
David Hobbs
Augie Pabst
Roger PenskeDebutSilverstone, 11 May 1963
RacesWins
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