1991 Lola T9100 Indy Car
The Granatelli name and the florescent orange paint is part of a racing lore that dates back to Vince’s father, Andy Granatelli and his exploits with STP that culminated with Mario Andretti’s 1969 Indy victory in Andy’s STP Brawner/Hawk-Ford.
T91/00-02 was an integral part of the Granatelli team in 1991, which finished sixth in the championship. The Granatelli team had three Lola T91/00’s to choose from; this car was part of the rotation between race and backup (“T” car) and had a victory at the Phoenix International Raceway, plus a second, third, seventh and ninth place finishes to its credit.
The pilot of the Granatelli Lola was the popular defending Indianapolis 500 victor, Arie Luyendyk. He would become a two-time Indianapolis 500 champion in 1997, and Arie remains the current Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record holder having set one (237.498-mph) and four-lap (236.986-mph) records in 1996.
His average speed in winning the 1990 Indy was 185.981-mph, and that record stood for 23 years. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2014.
Doug Shierson, Luyendyk’s 1990 team owner, originally purchased T91/00-02 from Lola in 1990. Having accomplished his main goal in motorsports by winning the Indy 500 in 1990, Shierson sold the entire team (Lola T91/00-02 included) outright to businessman Bob Tezak, owner of International Games (makers of UNO) in January 1991.
Tezak took over the team and would merge with Vince Granatelli Racing to form as UNO/Granatelli Racing. The team cars would be painted in the readily identifiable day-glow orange, and Luyendyk was retained as the driver of the newly formed team.
The Lola name is synonymous with speed and quality, as is the Chevrolet Indy V8 engine, which made a huge change to the face of Indy .
These engines are turbocharged 2.65-liter V8s that create 720-hp at 11,000-rpm, and power an approximately 1,500 pound racecar. Any way you look at it, these cars are amongst the fastest on the planet, then and now.
This period of Indy Car is considered by many fans, as well as many participants, the quintessential design of America’s premier open wheel series.