OCTOBER 7, 1996
Lola announces engine plans
AS we revealed at the end of July (INSIDE F1, Week 31) Lola as planning to build its own F1 engine. Last week in London Lola boss Eric Broadley announced that Lola is embarking on a five-year project to build a V10 engine which will cost Lola between $8m and $16m. This is peanuts in F1 engine terms - where budgets run as high as $100m a year for the big engine-makers. And the only conclusion one can draw is that Lola is launching the program in the hope that it will draw attention to the project and attract support from a major engine manufacturer.
Lola's plan involves a consortium of small British firms including Al Melling's MCD design business in Lancashire. Melling has radical ideas about engine design and has been trying to get a variety of F1 projects off the ground in recent years. He was involved with the abortive Scott Russell engine program and more recently with an attempt by Pacific to build an F1 engine with Neil Brown.
At the announcement Broadley said that Lola is still considering entering F1 next season although it is now very late indeed to put together a project. If the money can be found - and sponsorship-hunter Brett Trafford is said to be close to a big deal in America - the team will go ahead, beginning the year with Ford ED3 engines before switching to Melling's V10 in mid-season.
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