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ENGLISH LOLA ENTHUSIAST JOINS THE SAS HISTORIC FORMULA FORD FUN THIS WEEKEND
The SAS Historic Formula Ford field at Taupō over this weekend, January the 18th and 19th, will feature an international competitor in the form of the highly experienced Robin Longdon.
We’ve seen the Englishman here most recently in a Formula Junior Lola. He’s a regular on the Formula Junior circuit and, in addition to the rear-engined Lola he’s raced here beforer, he has a front-engined T2 Formula Junior, a drum braked Mk3 and, as well, one of the very first Lolas – the gorgeous little sports car dating from the late 1950s.
The front-engined Formula Junior
Sue and Robin Longdon with their 1961 Mk 3 Lola
Robin Longdon exiting Goodwood’s famous chicane in the Mk1 – this car has a Kiwi connection having been the one raced in New Zealand by Graeme Lawrence’s father, Doug
After getting some Historic Formula Ford experience racing the Phil Foulkes Van Diemen RF85 on one of his frequent trips to New Zealand, when the suggestion was made ‘why not buy an old Formula Ford and leave it here to race’, the response was along the lines of ‘…it would have to be a Lola!’
In late 2019, Paul de Lacy reluctantly concluded his time in Formula Ford was over and a longshot idea was hatched – a plan that that ‘might just about have an outside chance of being of interest’ because Paul’s car is a Lola. An email was followed by phone calls to Chester, an inspection of the car was carried out by category guru Foulkes, and a deal was concluded.
Longdon will be making his racing debut in a Lola Formula Ford at Taupō and, based on his record in Formula Junior, he will be guaranteed to be right in amongst it. By the way, just to show that he doesn’t only have eyes for Lolas, he is the proud owner of the famous ex-Les Leston Lotus Elite with the number plate ‘DAD 10’ – known by race fans and commentators in the late 1950s as ‘Daddy-o’. Longdon is a regular at the Goodwood Revival with the Elite, when he’s not racing one of his beloved Lolas, that is.
The famous DAD10
The SAS Historic Formula Ford racing at Taupō promises to dish up the close, wheel to wheel battles of the type that has caused evergreen commentator John Tomlin to describe ‘Historic Formula Ford’ as being the closest racing of any of the categories that he calls.
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