Lola will returns to racing with a Formula E entry

The iconic British racing brand Lola is making a long-awaited return to the pinnacle of global motorsports. The team will join the Formula E grid for 2025 season alongside technical partner Yamaha, who will design the powertrain.

Lola is a legendary name in racing, with over 500 championship divisions throughout all levels of motorsport. Some of the greatest drivers, including AJ Foyt, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, and Mario Andretti piloted the brand’s racecars.

Lola began as a chassis supplier for formula cars before transitioning into endurance sports cars. Most famously, the brand’s concept of a 40-inch-tall GT car with a big Ford engine would go on to serve as the basis for the Ford GT40.

Lola continued on as a supplier for decades, producing almost 5000 different types of racecars, before eventually taking the plunge to set up a works team in 1997. Ultimately, though, that proved to be the wrong decision as the Mastercard Lola program was incredibly slow and incredibly expensive and bankrupted the brand.

Till Bechtolsheimer, who purchased the company in 2022, wanted to revive the legendary name and promised a return to racing when he took over as chairman. He’s invested in the company’s headquarters in Silverstone, England – fittingly, right next to the historic Formula One circuit.

“We are incredibly excited to be partnering with the Yamaha Motor Company as we enter the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. To be selected by one of the most innovative OEMs in the world to partner on a project of this significance is a testament to the caliber of the team that we have been building at Lola,” Bechtolsheimer said.

“The focus of this project is squarely around technological development in which Lola is fully invested. We see the highly efficient 350 kW electric powertrain that underpins the manufacturer’s perimeter in Formula E, as a cornerstone technology with exciting applications across many forms of topflight international motorsport in the coming years.”

The company’s new mission goes beyond building racecars but focuses on sustainable engineering more broadly. That makes Formula E the perfect fit, as the series focuses on the development of zero-emission technology.

“We are thrilled to confirm our entry in Formula E,” said Lola’s Motorsport Director Mark Preston. “For us, this is more than just an opportunity to return Lola to the track, it’s also a fantastic platform for technological development.

“Lola cars has a decorated history of success in chassis and aerodynamic design. This project will allow us to create a unique electrified platform with a software focus at its core to provide a basis for Lola’s wider plans in defining the future of motorsport technology.

“The partnership is the first of several major projects planned to re-establish the British company as an industry leader in sustainable engineering and motorsport, strategically focusing on three areas of electrification, hydrogen, and sustainable fuels and materials.”

Partnering with Yamaha is a good move for the restructured company, too. While Lola is reestablishing its motorsport expertise, Yamaha never stepped back. The brand that produced podium-worthy F1 engines in the ’90s is a force in motorbike racing today. It’s a win for Yamaha, too, as they can also take advantage of sustainable development in Formula E.

“Yamaha Motor Company is accelerating the research and development of various technologies that contribute to sustainability,” Heiji Maruyama, Managing Executive Officer and Director at Yamaha, said. “As the technical partner, we hope to acquire more advanced energy management technologies through the highest level of electric racing in Formula E. We also share Lola’s new philosophy of sustainable motorsport, and we are very pleased and honored to form this partnership with them.”

It might be a very different look and sound to Lolas of the past, but future-focused electric racing is about to bring back one of motorsport’s most iconic brands.

Owen Johnson