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Haas Lola
Full name Team Haas (USA) Ltd.
Base United Kingdom Colnbrook, England, United Kingdom
Founder(s) Carl Haas
Teddy Mayer
Noted drivers Australia Alan Jones
France Patrick Tambay
United States Eddie Cheever
Formula One World Championship career
Constructors Lola-Hart
Lola-Ford
Debut 1985 Italian Grand Prix
Races competed 19
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0
Race victories 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
Final race 1986 Australian Grand Prix

Team Haas (USA) Ltd. was an American Formula One team founded by Carl Haas and Teddy Mayer in 1984, which competed in the World Championship from 1985 to 1986. The project was funded by Beatrice Foods and helped the team enter an agreement to use Ford engines for three seasons. Former World Champion Alan Jones was able to be coaxed out of retirement to drive the team's first car at the end of the 1985 season and on into 1986. After a change of management at Beatrice led to the company withdrawing their funding of the project, the team was unable to continue in Formula One after the 1986 season.

The team was commonly known as Haas Lola due to Haas' association with Lola Cars International, although Lola was not involved in the project.[1] Their cars were actually designed by Haas-owned design and construction company known as FORCE. Lola however earned the team's points towards the Constructors Championships as the team's designated constructor.

Contents

Team history

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Backing from Beatrice and Ford

In autumn 1984, Carl Haas had successfully negotiated a sponsorship deal with Beatrice Foods for Haas's Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) IndyCar team. As part of the agreement, Beatrice agreed to help fund an expansion of the team into Formula One with primary sponsorship of the effort.[2] With the aid of Beatrice, later that year Haas announced an engine supplier for the program. Ford was in the process of developing a turbocharged V6 engine (known as the GBA) as a replacement for their aged naturally aspirated Cosworth DFV V8 which was no longer able to successfully compete with its turbocharged competitors. The deal was announced to last for three seasons, with Haas being the exclusive receiver of the new engines.[2] As part of the announcement, former World Champion Alan Jones announced his return from retirement to drive the team's first car in 1985.[3]

With cash flow and engines, Carl Haas began creating the team as well as organizing a design team to develop a new car. Former McLaren owner Teddy Mayer became co-owner of the project and aided the team in establishing their base,[4] purchasing a disused factory in Colnbrook, England, and establishing Formula One Race Car Engineering (FORCE).[2] The FORCE base housed the team's designers, lead by former Williams engineer Neil Oatley and included new designer Ross Brawn. The team's cars were also to be built in the same factory.[2]

Even with FORCE designing and building the cars, Carl Haas chose to enter the cars in the 1985 Formula One season under the constructor name of Lola. Haas was the official importer of cars from British firm Lola Cars International to the United States, and wished to associate the more popular Lola name with the team.[2] Lola was however not involved in the project, and played no part in the design or construction of the team's cars.[1]

1985 season

Team Haas entered the 1985 championship without the intention of running the full season as the team was still designing their first car, the THL1, when the season began. The team's promised Ford DBA engines were not able to be completed by the end of 1985, so Haas signed an agreement with Brian Hart Ltd. to purchase their 415T turbocharged Inline-4 engines until the Ford units could be completed.[2] Goodyear was signed as the team's tyre supplier. The Oatley-designed THL1-Hart was first completed by the summer of 1985, and the team began preparation for several planned starts for driver Alan Jones by the end of the season.

The team made its first race appearance at the Italian Grand Prix, where Jones qualified second from last on the grid. The race was short lived as the Hart engine failed after only six laps. Haas opted to not attend the Belgian Grand Prix, returning instead for the team's home race at Brands Hatch, the European Grand Prix. Jones' qualifying was improved, earning 22nd on the grid, but the car failed once again after 13 laps due to radiator damage. At the South African Grand Prix, Jones qualified the car but was unable to take part in the race after he became ill. The Australian Grand Prix closed the team's short season, producing another short race after electrical problems sidelined the car after 20 laps.

1986 season

After the team's experimental 1985 season, FORCE concentrated on developing the team's second car, the THL2, designed specifically for their contracted Ford engines. Frenchman Patrick Tambay, who had previously driven for Haas' Can-Am team in North America, was added as the team's second entry alongside Jones.[1] Problems arose however before the season began, as Cosworth's efforts to build the new Ford engines had been delayed, forcing the team to start the season with the previous year's car. Even with the old machinery, Tambay was able to qualify 13th on the grid of the Brazilian Grand Prix, although he and Jones both retired. Tambay improved for the next round, the Spanish Grand Prix, as he finished the first race for the team, the last of eight cars to cross the finish line.

By the San Marino Grand Prix, the first THL2-Ford was completed for Jones, but was able to qualify 21st in comparison to Tambay's eleventh in the THL1-Hart. Tambay received his first THL2 at Monaco and quickly qualified eighth with it, only to crash out of the race in the final eleven laps. Although still outqualified by Tambay, Jones was in position to finish his first race with the team in Belgium before his car ran out of fuel in the closing laps. Jones managed to see the finish of the Canadian Grand Prix, but his teammate was injured in a heavy crash during the warm-up lap.[4]

American driver Eddie Cheever was signed by Haas at Tambay's temporary replacement for the Detroit Grand Prix after Carl Haas had difficulty in obtaining Mario Andretti. Cheever qualified tenth and ran high enough to possibly earn points, but retired with a broken wheel peg, four laps after Jones had also retired with steering problems.[4] Tambay, recovered from his injuries, returned to the team at the 1986 French Grand Prix. Over the next two Grands Prix Tambay was in a position to finish before mechanical problems forced him to retire within the final fifteen laps of both races.

The German Grand Prix became another first for the team as both cars finished the race. Tambay, a lap down, was classified eighth while Jones was ninth and two laps down from the race winner. Tambay improved this performance with a seventh place finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix, after having qualified the car in a season best of sixth on the grid. The improvements finally paid off at the Austria as mechanical problems for many top teams allowed the two Haas entries to earn points towards the World Championship, even though both cars were two laps behind the winner. Jones finished in fourth, earning three points, just ahead of Tambay in fifth, who was awarded two points. Jones earned a further point for a sixth place finish at the Italian Grand Prix.

Problems began within the team however as a change in management in the summer of 1985 at Beatrice led to the company ending their sponsorship deal with Haas during the 1986 season, taking away funding from the effort.[2] The team began to struggle for results as the money supply dwindled. Tambay finished the Portuguese Grand Prix, but did not complete enough laps to be classified in the results. Both drivers retired in Mexico, while the team ended the year with Alan Jones' Ford motor failing after 16 laps, and Tambay finishing the race 12 laps behind and once again not classified.

With a total of four points, Alan Jones was 12th in the Drivers Championship, while Tambay was 15th with two points. As the team's designated constructor, Lola received a total of six points, earning them eighth in the Constructors Championship.

1987 plans and demise

Shortly after the end of the 1986 season, Carl Haas was continuing to try and find funding to continue into the 1987 season after Beatrice had opted to not return. The team still had a deal for Ford engines, but after being unable to find the sponsorship necessary, Carl Haas closed the team by the end of October, and the FORCE base was sold to Bernie Ecclestone, then owner of Brabham.[2] The team was dismantled, with Haas and Mayer returning to the United States and Oatley moving on to design for McLaren. Jones and Tambay both left Formula One after their contracts ended, moving onto other categories of motorsport.[1] The turbocharged Ford engines were used by Benetton in the 1987 season. The former FORCE factory was retained by Ecclestone for use by Alfa Romeo in building several racing cars before it was sold to March Engineering in 1989, where it built Ralts and March IndyCars.[2]

Lola meanwhile had their own plans for 1987, building a Formula One car for the new Larrousse & Calmels team. Unlike the Haas Lolas, these cars were designed and built by Lola at their factory, making them the first Lolas in Formula One since the company built chassis for Embassy Hill in 1975.

Complete Formula One results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Chassis Engine(s) Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1985 Lola THL1 Hart 415T 1.5 I4 (t/c) G BRA POR SMR MON CAN DET FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA BEL EUR RSA AUS 0 NC
Alan Jones Ret Ret DNS Ret
1986 Lola THL1 Hart 415T 1.5 I4 (t/c) G BRA ESP SMR MON BEL CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN AUT ITA POR MEX AUS 6 8th
Alan Jones Ret Ret Ret Ret 11 10 Ret Ret Ret 9 Ret 4 6 Ret Ret Ret
Lola THL2 Ford DBA 1.5 V6 (t/c) Patrick Tambay Ret 8 Ret Ret Ret DNS Inj Ret Ret 8 7 5 Ret NC Ret NC
Eddie Cheever Ret

References

  1. ^ a b c d Mattijs Diepraam (February 1999). "Moulin Rouge class". Forix (8W). http://forix.autosport.com/8w/tambay.html. Retrieved 2008-08-06.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Constructors: Haas/FORCE (Formula One Race Car Engineering)". GrandPrix.com. http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/con-haas.html. Retrieved 2008-08-06.  
  3. ^ Mattijs Diepraam (October 1998). "Comeback embarrassment". Forix (8W). http://forix.autosport.com/8w/jones.html. Retrieved 2008-08-06.  
  4. ^ a b c Mattijs Diepraam & Ranier Nyberg (August 1999). "Roman artist becomes the ultimate American". Forix (8W). http://forix.autosport.com/8w/cheever.html. Retrieved 2008-08-06.  

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