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Group C: The Rise and Fall of the Golden Age of Endurance Racing: Lola

Submitted by on June 23, 2020

By Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica

We continue our Group C retrospective with a look at British constructor Lola and their corresponding cars, the T600, T610, T616 and finally the T92/10.

In 1982, Lola debuted the T610, based on the T600 from 1981.

It was Brian Redman who asked Lola for the development of a GTP racer based on the Lola T70 chassis, although fitted with a new body. The new car would be powered by a 6.0 liter V8 Chevrolet engine generating 600 hp. Cooke-Woods Racing became the first customer for the T600. Between 1981 and 1983 the T600 managed just a handful of podium finishes.

As the T600 turned out to not be competitive in Group C, Lola developed the T610 in 1982. Guy Edwards and Rupert Keegan debuted the car at the 1000 kms of Monza that year.

The T610 was different in many ways when compared to the T600. Lola used an aluminium monocoque with aluminium skins, although the floor of the car was fitted with carbon fibre skins. Instead of the big Chevrolet engine used in the T600, Lola adapted a Ford Cosworth 3.9 DFL engine for the T610. Lola built just two cars.

The T610 was followed by the Lola T616 in 1984. Just as with the earlier T610, the T616 was also based on the T600. Lola adapted a Mazda 2616 cc rotary engine and debuted the car at the Daytona 24 Hours in 1984.

Two other cars were seen in Europe with a single entry at the Monza 1000 km and a double entry at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year. As the T616 combined with the Mazda engine turned out to be very reliable, John Morton, Yoshimi Katayama and John O’Steen claimed victory in the C2 class. BF Goodrich Lola finished second in the 1984 World Championship. Initially 3 cars were built, although a fourth car appeared later.

Lola’s final contribution to Group C was the T92/10 that appeared in 1992 as pictured below. Dutch designer Wiet Huidekoper created the T92/10, which was meant for the private sector. Just as Porsche did with their very successful customer program, Lola offered a Group C race car for private customers. Huidekoper focussed on outright downforce combined with a Judd GV10 V10 that created around 650 horsepower. With a weight of 770 kg the T92/10 looked to be promising, however by the time the car became available, the World Sports Car Championship was nearing its end.

Euro Racing from the Netherlands, managed and owned by Dutchman Charles Zwolsman, bought two cars. Zwolsman debuted with a car at the Interserie round at Mugello in 1991. At Monza, Euro Racing debuted in the World Sports Car Championship with both cars (Charles Zwolsman-Cor Euser and Stefan Johansson-Jesus Pareja. Euro Racing participated in several races of the World Championship as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but reliability problems kept the team from reaching their potential.

Just three cars were built and with the dissolution of Group C and the cancellation of the World Sportscar Championship for 1993 the story of the T92/10 was rather short. Nowadays T92/10-HU1 is the sole chassis that is still active in the historic motorsports scene.

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