24. Lola THL2 1986

S1789 Beatrice-Lola THL2 No.16 Belgium GP 1986 – Patrick Tambay

One and a half years was the time that Carl Haas was participating in the Formula 1 in 1985/1986. Without any success. And neither the THL1 (1985), nor the successor model THL2 (from Imola 1986 on) were outstanding constructions. Both of them were too simple, too conservative to achieve more than six championship points at that time. The entry of Haas was unexpected and surprising. The US-business man Haas, not to mix up with Gene Haas who will have his debut in the Formula 1 season 2016, owned an IndyCar team in the United States – together with the actor Paul Newman. In cooperation with Teddy Mayer, a McLaren old hand, he was founding the race team FORCE (Formula One Race Car Engineering). With the goal to get in the Formula 1 from 1985. The grocery chain Beatrice Foods could be acquired as sponsor and the already retired, former world champion Alan Jones, as driver. Everything looked highly promising. And as Haas had been Lola-importer for the USA since decades, he could also gain the British chassis maker for his team. But strictly speaking Lola (Cars) had nothing to do with the FORCE. The cars got their name and Lola-founder Eric Broadley was also attending the launch in 1985, but Lola was not involved in the construction at all. Haas has simply expected some good PR because of this stroke. Also to name in regard to the constructors are Ross Brawn and Adrian Newey. The first “Haas-Lola” was running with a Hart-engine. Actually TAG-Power would have been the first choice. But these engines were not on the market because McLaren (already at those days!) put a veto on it.

Really early it was clear that Hart is just a temporary solution. Haas targeted Ford. The US-company was busy with the construction of a F1-turbo engine since 1983. But the first run-out of the Ford-Turbo was delayed. Strictly speaking until Imola 1986. And when it was installed, it was not competitive at all. At least: At the Italian GP Jones and the new team mate Patrick Tambay achieved a fourth and fifth place. And at the Belgian race Jones was finishing at the sixth position. At that moment it was already clear that Haas will retreat from the Formula 1 by the end of the year. The lack of success and (even worse) the exit of Beatrice started the downfall. The grocery enterprise has already separated at the beginning of 1986, but still paid in the correct way. Haas’ head office was located in Colnbrook/Great Britain, but was racing under US-license and was also the only US F1 racing team until 2015. That the next one, Haas F1, has the same name is a pretty big coincidence.


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