"We got a telephone call yesterday from the factory telling us we were pulling out," Ray Boulter, the team manager, said in Sao Paulo yesterday afternoon. "We were, well, amazed. It is all the more surprising because the whole team is already here. We had come out especially early to prepare ourselves for this event. Everything is set up and ready to go."
Lola, based at Huntingdon, had 28 mechanics and engineers and two drivers, the Brazilian Ricardo Rosset and the Italian Vincenzo Sospiri, preparing for qualifying, which starts tomorrow at the Interlagos circuit.
"The freight continues on to Argentina, so the future remains open," Boulter added. "But we will all be getting back to England as soon as we can."
A spokesman for the team in England said: "I can confirm that Lola have pulled out of the Brazilian Grand Prix and will not be entering other races in 1997. Beyond that, we are a racing car company and we have identified Formula One as an area we should be involved in."
Lola are one of the most distinguished names in the sport, having won championships at almost every level and dominated the IndyCar series. Grand prix racing is the one Formula they have never cracked. They have had one pole position - in 1962 - and just 40 points to show for 140 grands prix.Reuse content