|Predecessor||Lola T93/30 / Lola T95/30|
|Chassis||Carbon fibre/aluminium honeycomb monocoque|
|Suspension (front)||Inboard pushrod/bellcrank-actuated double wishbones|
|Suspension (rear)||As front|
|Engine||Ford ECA Zetec-R V8|
|Transmission||Lola 6-speed sequential|
|Weight||520 kilograms (1,150 lb)|
|Notable entrants||MasterCard Lola F1 Team|
|Notable drivers||24. Vincenzo Sospiri
25. Ricardo Rosset
|Debut||1997 Australian Grand Prix|
The Lola T97/30 was the car with which the MasterCard Lola Formula One team attempted to compete in the 1997 Formula One season. It was driven by Vincenzo Sospiri, the 1995 Formula 3000 champion, and Ricardo Rosset, who moved from Footwork. However, the team's tenure in F1 was brief. The first Lola chassis to compete in the sport since 1993 was originally planned for the 1998 season. However, due to pressure from main sponsor MasterCard, the car was rushed into service a year before the initial plan.
Lola was the second new team for the 1997 season, the other being Stewart Grand Prix. Because of sponsor MasterCard's eagerness to get the team running a year earlier than planned, the team hastily built the T97/30 just weeks before the season began. Whilst Stewart (who had announced their entry even before the end of the 1996 season) had completed weeks of testing, Lola had barely done any by the season opener.
At Melbourne, the first brief tests showed that both cars were slow in a straight line and also in the corners; the aerodynamics producing too much drag and not enough downforce. This also meant the cars could not get the tyres up to the right temperature. Both drivers never even got near a good enough time to qualify, as they struggled in the difficult-handling cars. In the end neither Sospiri or Rosset managed to qualify, 11 and 13 seconds respectively off the pace.
The cars were transported to Brazil for the race at Interlagos, but MasterCard withdrew their support (with all other sponsors later following MasterCard's suit at the last minute) and they remained in the garage for the rest of the weekend, subsequently withdrawing from the championship.
The team were unclassified in the Constructors' Championship, with no race finishes, nor points.
Complete Formula One results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)
|1997||MasterCard Lola||Ford Zetec R ECA 3.0 V8||B||AUS||BRA||ARG||SMR||MON||ESP||CAN||FRA||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||AUT||LUX||JPN||EUR||0||NC|
The locations of the four T97/30 chassis (as of 2007) are as follows:
- T97/30-1 (Sospiri): Canadian racing school.
- T97/30-2 (Rosset): Canadian racing school.
- T97/30-3 (spare car): owned by Martin Birrane, the current owner of Lola. On display at the Mondello Park circuit museum.
- T97/30-4 (unfinished): Lola factory, Huntingdon.
- Collins, Sam (2007). "Lola". Unraced...Formula One's lost cars. Veloce Publishing. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-84584-084-6.
- Collins, Sam (2007). "Chassis list". Unraced...Formula One's lost cars. Veloce Publishing. p. 122. ISBN 978-1-84584-084-6.
- Collins, Sam (2007). "Lola". Unraced...Formula One's lost cars. Veloce Publishing. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-84584-084-6.