Lola T290 Kodak

Lola T290 Kodak

In 1971 Barrie did little racing owing to lack of funds. In the winter of that year he went to Paris to try to find a sponsor, teaming up with old friend and fellow F3 racer René Ligonnet.

Waiting with my seat
1972 Kodak Lola T290
Barrie in helmet closeup
Barrie Kodak portrait
Baz and Chris Craft

After 3 months of door knocking Barrie went to a photography exhibition where he met the marketing team of Kodak Pathé. After a short negotiation he secured his first real sponsor, Kodak France. What a difference it makes to have proper funding.

He won most of the races he entered, racing exclusively in France for the 1972 season.

Belting in practice
Closeup John
Clutch change Lola T290
Driver change hour 18

Barrie and René had races most week-ends and if there were no circuit races they did international hill climbs. Barrie having never done hill climbs before found they were very daunting, “there was nowhere to go if you fell off the road” he said!

Foret Auvray Hill
Foret Auvrey 2nd
Virage Dec.1972 Cover
Jo Bo Le-Mans 1972
John McD Magny Cours
Le Mans 1972 start

For the interest of skiers and for those who know the road, the international hill climb at Méribel is a typical event, with a distance of 18kms from Brides les Bains to Méribel ski resort. The little Lola T290 was geared for 130 mph for the flat part near Les Allues. Barrie went up the hill in exactly 8 minutes pulling top speed between the houses at Les Allues. He finished second , missing the win by a tenth of a second, as he nearly missed a hairpin at the bottom of the climb and had to select 1st gear loosing some 5 seconds.

Le Mans 1972
Le Mans 1972
Le Mans rears
LM72 end
LM72 Nelly
Lola before the start

A class win at Le Mans 24 hour classic with René Ligonnet co-driving was the best result.

The Kodak Lola T290 was the first Lola to ever finish Le Mans. There was no help from the factory, Geoff Richardson prepared the Cosworth FVC and Grand Prix Metalcraft modified the body. The little Lola ran faultlessly throughout the 24 hours, loosing 30 minutes in the pits for a brake change, but for that they would have been 5th overall ! Barrie won the Coupe des Salons at Montlhéry and came 3rd at Magny Cours.

Lola Magny Cours
Lola T290 Log Kodak
Lola Rouen pits 1972
Magny Cours 1972 pole
Marie nely waiting
Mde Jean Bera Montlhery

Barrie was often the only “foreign” driver at many of these French events, so always won the prize for the best placed foreigner. Kodak Pathé were always impressed when he bought them the silverware on Monday mornings!

Meribel 8 mins
Montlhery 1972 Coups Salon
Rene Le-Mans
Rene, Barrie
Rouen autumn paddock

Kodak had all the trophies in their Paris headquarters until they closed in 2012.

Rouen paddock 1972
Rouen pits 1972
T290 Magny Cours 1972
Maite and Baz at Rouen
In the pits - David Amette (left) and John Amette (right)