Sunday, October 19, 2014

Lola T 70 In-Car From The Goodwood Revival (2014)

Goodwood: oddly, in-car camera footage often fails to show elevation changes and off-camber bends as dramatically
difficult as they are in fact.  For example, Madgwick is off-camber on the outside, the hill in St. Mary's changes the
ideal line, and Lavant and Woodcote have multiple apexes.  Harder to drive than it looks.

A year ago I posted a link to Kenny Brack's rain race in a Ford GT 40 at the 2013 Revival--an awesome sideways drive in which I, at least, didn't doubt his car control.  Here's a link to Lola T-70 in the dry that had me on the edge of my seat.  The video is in HD.  It runs 26 minutes; visibility is decreased from the middle onwards by bug splats and a low sun.

I've seen a few Can-Am car in-car videos, and am impressed with how hard these cars are to control.  I had the same feeling at the only Can-Am race I saw "live," at Mid-Ohio in 1971.  Even well into the aero era, it was obvious that the McLaren M8F and the Lola T 260 were a handful for world-class drivers like Denny Hulme, Peter Revson, and Jackie Stewart.  The driving technique appeared to be to get the car slowed, tip-toe around the bend, get it straightened out, bury the throttle, and hang on.  Repeat.

In the hands of mere mortals, T 70's and other early Can-Am cars seem to be even more of a... handful.
Watch the steering wheel in the vid.  The driver has to really tippy-toe until the tires warm up.  There's a lot of counter-steering going on.  He has "moments," often in traffic, at about 7, 10, and 14 minutes. And a big one at 16 minutes.  It appears that even a good driver can't really stay ahead of an early Can-Am car.  He has to hope to be able to catch the car when it begins to get out from under him, which it will.

Above and below: two views of the Lola T 70 in typical Can-Am specification.  Neither car is the one in the video, but all
three are similar.  In the mid-'60's, at the dawn of the aero era, the T 70 gave Chaparral and McLaren  all they could
handle in the "unlimited" Can-Am series (and won a championship).  The T 70 also did well in British national
races and was a contender in FIA races, with small-block V-8's.  But it was obsoleted when rear wings and a
more scientific approach to front aerodynamics came to Can-Am.

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