O 1997 Lola T97/30 F1R é o carro mais próximo de um Fórmula 1 que você pode usar nas vias públicas

1997 Lola T97/30 F1R
O ano de 1997 foi terrível para a famosa fabricante de chassis Lola. A equipe de Fórmula 1 criada pela própria marca, com o patrocínio da MasterCard, participou do primeiro Grande Prêmio daquele ano, em Melbourne, Austrália.

No entanto, a empreitada não passou da qualificação, onde os pilotos Vincenzo Sospiri e Ricardo Rosset ficaram longínquos 10 segundos acima do tempo da pole position de Jacques Villeneuve. Em virtude daquela pífia performance, a MasterCard deixou a equipe, que teve que fechar suas portas com a perda dos fundos financeiros.

Só que a Lola continuou seu trabalho fora da categoria máxima do automobilismo, e produziu o T97/30, o único carro de Fórmula 1 com autorização para circular em vias públicas.

Claro que o carro não possui as mesmas características de um bólido de competição, já que algumas modificações tiveram que ser feitas no veículo. A altura do carro em relação ao solo foi aumentada, e pode ser ajustada entre 50 e 75 mm. Além disso, o veículo recebeu faróis, luzes traseiras, pisca-piscas e freio de mão.

Apesar das mudanças, o carro possui a mesma especificação do Lola F1 que se inscreveu para a temporada 1997 da Fórmula 1, com bico dianteiro homologado pela FIA, freios de fibra de carbono, suspensão pushrod, e os mesmos painéis da carroceria.

Enquanto que o carro de Fórmula 1 da Lola tinha um motor Ford Zetec-R 3.0 V8 e transmissão semi-automática, o propulsor presente no Lola T97/30 F1R é um Cosworth 2.0 turbo, que produz 370 CV de potência, e é conectado a uma transmissão manual de cinco marchas. O vendedor diz que pode-se extrair mais potência apenas trocando o turbocompressor.

O carro está em perfeitas condições, tem apenas 40 km marcados em seu odômetro, e sempre ficou estacionado em ambiente climatizado. O vendedor alega que o veículo "é muito bom de ser dirigido no trânsito".

O 1997 Lola T97/30 F1R será leiloado pela Bonhams, em Londres, no dia 07 de dezembro. Espera-se que o carro seja arrematado por um valor entre 55.000 and 85.000 libras esterlinas.
1996/2009 "Formula 1" Derived Road Car F1R (Road)

Registration no. AE59 ERV
Chassis no. 7A4N9N319S106N52R

- Designed and built by Lola engineers
- Unique specification
- Road legal in the UK
- Only circa 25 miles since completion

Design and race engineers at Lola, headed by Russell Anniston, were challenged by way of a wager to build a Formula 1-style car that could be UK road registered. The street car had to embody the excitement, visual cues, and sense of theatre of a traditional Formula 1 racing car, while still addressing the practical road issues involved. The most practical way of demonstrating this was to build one. It took the best part of 15 years from concept through design to completion, and the result is a combination of several racetrack and road-car technologies. Needless to say, after this magnificent creation's completion, the wager was won.

The F1R was built around a circa 1996 Lola chassis (which may have come from the company's aborted 1997 F1 project) utilising the tub, wings, suspension, nose none, body panels, radiator ducting, and other ancillaries.

Although during this period of Formula 1, normally aspirated engines of 3.0-litres capacity were used, it was felt that for road use a 2.0-litre turbo-charged Cosworth YB unit would offer the optimum balance. The four-cylinder Cosworth was mated to a G50 five-speed manual gearbox for simplicity of use, while the ready availability of parts ensures easy ongoing maintenance. The engine is presently tuned to deliver a healthy 370bhp, but adjusting the turbo can substantially increase this.

Ground clearance was one of the most obvious areas of consideration, and this F1 derived road car runs at an increased and adjustable 50-75mm. As with an F1 car, the aerodynamically critical surfaces and wings generate increased levels of downforce as speed rises. Both front and rear wings are adjustable.

The F1R is an amalgamation of various racing vehicle technologies, and uses conventional components where appropriate. All service items are readily available. The F1R was built and assembled by Lola engineers to the highest standards with customary attention to detail. The net result is a car that quite possibly provides the closest sensation of driving a single-seat racer on the road.

To say it is eye-catching on the road is somewhat of an understatement. The owner reports that the car is good in traffic, very easy to drive, and offers tremendous performance when required - it even has a "handbrake" to comply with UK regulations. The F1R is offered in effectively "as new" condition, having covered only some 25 miles and been stored in a climate controlled environment with a stable of other cars. The maintenance programme includes starting and warming up to operational temperatures every month. The F1R's last outing was in early autumn for its annual MoT test.

The seller, an avid motorsport enthusiast and driver, is very happy to offer any advice to the buyer. Furthermore, one of Lola's former race engineers is also available to offer advice. A spares package is included with the car, and an inventory of these parts is available from Bonhams. A comprehensive history of the specifications and build of this striking car is available also.

Offered with a DVLA V5C document giving the first date of registration as 13th October 2009, this is the only such motor car built and is fully road legal in the UK having passed the government SVA tests. Coming to sale at a fraction of the price such a car would cost to commission today, this extraordinary vehicle represents a unique opportunity to any motorsport collector.

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