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Motorsport

Ready for some nostalgia? Lola is coming back to motorsport

Late Eighties F1 straggler reborn as Formula E team. S'pose it's the time of year for resurrection stories...

Published: 02 Apr 2024

Lola is returning to single-seater racing. We repeat, Lola - perhaps best known for retiring from a lot of F1 races more than 30 years ago - is returning to single-seater racing. Blimey.

The historic racing name (which to its credit can claim plenty of CART and Le Mans successes from yesteryear) will make its comeback by partnering with Yamaha to form a Formula E team in 2025.

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Lola had ceased trading in 2012, but the resurrection is the brainchild of Till Bechtolsheimer, a Brit based in the US whose racing CV includes various GT3 and LMP3 outings in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship, and much else besides.

He purchased the rights to the Lola brand a couple of years ago, and plans to re-establish it by going big on electrification and sustainability. Hence the move into Formula E.

“The focus of this project is squarely around technological development in which Lola is fully invested," said Bechtolsheimer. "We see the highly efficient 350kW electric powertrain that underpins the manufacturer’s perimeter in Formula E, as a cornerstone technology with exciting applications across many forms of topflight international motorsport in the coming years.”

A powertrain which TopGear.com has already sampled of course, bolted into a demo GenBeta car that will provide the basis for the next generation of electric single-seaters.

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Meanwhile Mark Preston, motorsport director at Lola, added: “Lola Cars has a decorated history of success in chassis and aerodynamic design. This project will allow us to create a unique electrified platform with a software focus at its core to provide a basis for Lola’s wider plans in defining the future of motorsport technology.”

Gotcha, so it's tech rather than hardware at this stage. Still, we're curious to see how Lola gets on given the team will be run by Yamaha, a company that normally specialises in two wheels rather than four... 

Is a grid full of historic has-beens what Formula E needs? Bring on Minardi, Footwork Arrows and Hesketh e-racers, stat!

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