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The Lola THL2 was a Formula One racing car designed by Neil Oatley for FORCE and was used by Team Haas (USA) Ltd. during the 1986 Formula One season. Two of the FORCE aerodynamicists who worked on the car during its countless hours of Wind tunnel testing were a young Ross Brawn and Adrian Newey. The car debuted at the 1986 San Marino Grand Prix and was driven by 1980 World Drivers' Champion Alan Jones from Australia, and his new teammate Patrick Tambay of France.
|Constructor||Team Haas (USA) Ltd.|
|Designer(s)||Neil Oatley (Technical Director)|
Ross Brawn (Aerodynamics)
|Chassis||Carbon fibre with aluminium honeycomb monocoque|
|Suspension (front)||Double wishbones, push-rod and rocker actuated coil springs over dampers, anti-roll bar|
|Suspension (rear)||Double wishbones, push-rod and rocker actuated coil springs over dampers, anti-roll bar|
|Axle track||Front: 1,803 mm (71.0 in)|
Rear: 1,625 mm (64.0 in)
|Wheelbase||2,794 mm (110.0 in)|
|Engine||Ford TEC, 1,497 cc (91.4 cu in), 120° V6, twin turbocharged, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted|
|Transmission||Hewland / FORCE 6-speed manual|
|Weight||545 kg (1,202 lb)|
|Notable entrants||Team Haas (USA) Ltd.|
|Notable drivers||15. Alan Jones|
16. Patrick Tambay
16. Eddie Cheever
|Debut||1986 San Marino Grand Prix|
Jones, with 12 career wins in his first F1 career from 1975-81 (plus one race for Arrows in 1983), had been with the team since its debut at the 1985 Italian Grand Prix. Tambay joined after two seasons driving for the factory Renault team, and a season and a half with Ferrari before that. Tambay had 2 Grand Prix wins to his credit, all for Ferrari in 1982 and 1983.
The car was an evolution of the Lola THL1 which used the Hart 415T Straight 4 turbo. When the THL2 appeared at Imola it was powered by the new Ford-TEC, 120° V6 engine designed by the Cosworth DFV engine designer Keith Duckworth and John Baldwin; the turbo engine was rated at about 900 bhp (671 kW; 912 PS). Although it was an improvement in power over the 750 bhp (559 kW; 760 PS) Hart engine, the rushed development of this engine meant that Ford unfortunately lagged behind other engines in F1 in 1986 such as the reported 1,300 bhp (969 kW; 1,318 PS) bhp that the Lotus Renault V6 turbo had and the 1,400 bhp (1,044 kW; 1,419 PS) of the turbocharged 4cyl BMW engine. The TEC engine was to become more competitive for the following season in 1987, but by the time this engine had made its debut in 1986, it was only a year between when Duckworth and Baldwin started designing the engine to its first race; this is a very short time for a Formula One racing engine to be produced. They were behind after some initial tests to turbocharge Baldwin's old 4-cylinder engine used in sportscars and lower formulae proved to be a failure (Duckworth had wanted to use the 4 cyl as he believed they were more economical and compact than a V6, but Baldwin was never happy with the idea); and it was only towards the end of 1984 where funding was agreed to design the whole new V6. This led to a frustrating season for both Jones and Tambay as the THL2 was generally regarded to be the best handling car of the season. Jones and Tambay were reported to have continually asked Duckworth to build special qualifying engines with more power like Renault, BMW and Honda were doing in order to be able to qualify the car further up the grid, but the requests were turned down. Duckworth, Ford and Cosworth all believed that their proven reliability record would hold them in good stead against their sometimes fragile opposition.
Jones only scored 4 points during the season and retired from F1 for good at season's end. Tambay only scored two points with 5th place in Austria. Tambay also departed F1 at season's end, as did the Lola Haas team following the withdrawal of their major sponsor Beatrice Foods. The THL2s best qualifying position was 6th by Tambay at the Hungaroring for the 1986 Hungarian Grand Prix where the tight nature of the circuit meant a good handling car was more important than outright power.
Like its predecessor, the car was called a Lola but its only connection to the famous Lola Cars was because of car owner Carl Haas's previous close association with Lola founder Eric Broadley, who was also named as chief engineer for the team in 1985.
Complete Formula One resultsEdit
|1986||Team Haas (USA) Ltd.||Ford TEC