RACE CARS
Thursday, Mar 28 12:40pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Historic 1994 Lola T94/00 Indy Car to feature at Toyota Festival

This weekend’s Toyota Festival at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park will see a historic Lola T94/00 take centre stage.

 

Currently being restored at International Motorsport, this Lola T94/00 is the first Toyota-powered car of the CART/PPG Indy Car World Series era.

 

Nose

 

The Lola was built for Dan Gurney’s All American Racers (AAR) in 1994 and powered by a turbocharged 2.65-litre Toyota RV8A Phase 1.

 

It was the only Indy Car engine by Toyota designed and built in Japan. Final assembly of the engines took place in the United States by Toyota Racing Development (TRD USA).

 

Rear 3/4

 

It is arguably one of the rarest Indy Cars in the world being the only Toyota-powered Lola.

 

The car is currently owned by Samuel Wattam who bought it out of Belgium. He also has a 1994 Japanese Touring Car Championship Toyota Corolla AE101 that will be on display at Hampton Downs too.

 

Steering Wheel

 

While the car currently sports an All American Racers livery, it never raced. The team conducted two tests with the car in road course trim before it was put into storage.

 

Juan Manuell Fangio II drove the car in the two tests before the car was used as a display vehicle as part of the Castrol Motorsport Collection in Europe.

 

Toyota

 

The team continued development with a Reynard chassis and returned to the PPG Indy Car World Series in 1996 with Fangio II and P. J. Jones. However, the team never won a race during their time with Toyota from '96 to '99.

 

Toyota did go on to find success in CART. The Japanese marque won the Engine Manufacturers’ Cup, beating Honda and Ford-Cosworth. That year the title was won by Cristiano da Matta of Newman/Haas Racing with a Toyota-powered Lola B2/00

 

Wheel

 

The car has a storied and somewhat controversial history, which will be a future feature story on velocitynews.co.nz.

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