1995 Lola T9500 IndyCar. Ex-Scott Pruett Michigan 500 Winner.

Pat Patrick/Firestone works team car.

POA

History

IndyCar chassis number 185. 

This Lola brought two former top names in IndyCar racing back into the sport in 1995. Car owner Pat Patrick had already won the Indianapolis 500 and the National Championship three times. Tire manufacturer, Firestone, had also won Indy more times than any other tire company, including on Ray Harroun’s Marmon Wasp at the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911. However, by the mid 1990’s both were on the outside looking in.

Their return would be a partnership with Patrick owning the team and Firestone backing the car as their works team effort. Their tire testing driver would become their IndyCar driver too, multiple time SCCA and IMSA Champion, Scott Pruett.

The Patrick Racing team was competitive right out of the box for 1995. Much of this was attributable to the tire testing they did at every IndyCar race venue in 1994, while not actually fielding a car for the races that season. These tire tests were also how Pruett managed to catch the attention of Patrick and get the Lola’s seat, their racing would come in 1995.

Pruett and the Lola made an immediate statement at the opening round of the season at Miami where they finished 4th behind race winner and eventual series champion, Jacques Villeneuve. 

At the second round, the Australian IndyCar Grand Prix, the pair would finish on the podium with a 2nd place. After a 9th at the Slick 50 200 in Phoenix, the team was locked and loaded for the next round at Long Beach.

Pruett put the Lola 10th on the grid out of 28 qualifiers. While normally a good qualifying result, on a tight street course like Long Beach, Pruett would have his work cut out for him to try and move forward. However, with veteran multiple championship winning crew chief Jim McGee making pit stop strategy calls, and Pruett putting in one of his greatest drives, the team would carve their way up through the field to claim second in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Upon leaving Long Beach, the upstart Patrick Racing Team was now leading the Championship standings. An 8th at Nazareth dropped them from the Championship lead, but hopes were high for Indy in May, and things were looking good.

Pruett put the Lola in the middle of the third row in qualifying with a four lap average at over 227 mph. He would be directly behind Villeneuve. The race was epic for Pruett and the Patrick Racing Lola. With just 16 laps until the checkered flag, they were leading comfortably. Commentators Sam Posey and Bobby Unser were talking about Pruett’s career up to that point, and how it appeared this Indy 500 could have a Cinderella ending. Then, just like that, the Lola twitched with a gust of wind and wound up in the turn 2 wall, the dream scraping to an end with the Lola sliding backwards against the concrete barrier. 

Bent but not broken, both Pruett and the Lola returned for the next round at Milwaukee just a week later, They finished 12th. The next stop on the IndyCar season was at Milwaukee. There the team could only manage 12th. However, they bounced back at Detroit with an excellent 2nd place at the Detroit Grand Prix. See Pruett’s interview at the conclusion of the race. 

Thereafter the team kind of lost its way with some middling results at the next four races. However, they started to pull it back together again for the Michigan 500.

At Michigan, Pruett put the Patrick Racing Lola 12 on the grid, about mid-pack. However, by race end it would become an epic battle between two heavyweights in IndyCar racing, Penske Racing and Patrick Racing. Penske was betting on two time Indy 500 winner and 1994 CART Championship winner, Al Unser Jr. in a Penske car on Penske’s own Michigan International Speedway, against road racer Scott Pruett who had never won any IndyCar race, let alone on an oval. The race would come down to the last corner of the last lap. See the Michigan 500

The next race at Mid-Ohio resulted in a mediocre finish of 11th. The team was competitive again at Loudon, New Hampshire, until suffering a minor accident while Pruett was running 3rd. At the Molson Vancouver race they would be back on form with a 6th place finish. The team would conclude the year with a 5th at the Toyota Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca. Pruett and the Patrick Racing Lola finished 7th out of 46 IndyCars in the 1995 Championship. 

1995 Racing Season Results Summary:

4th Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami.

3rd Australian IndyCar Grand Prix.

9th Slick 50 200 (Phoenix, AZ).

2nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Pruett now leading the points championship.

8th Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix (Nazareth, PA).

19th Indianapolis 500.  Accident while leading with 16 laps to go.

12th Miller Genuine Draft 200 (Milwaukee, WI).

3rd ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix. 

13th Budweiser GI Joe 200 (Portland, OR).

7th Texaco Havoline 200 (Elkhart Lake, WI).

25th Molson Indy Toronto – DNF, coolant leak.

16th Budweiser Grand Prix of Cleveland.

1st Michigan 500. First IndyCar win for Firestone in decades. Would lead to Firestone becoming the sole provider of IndyCar tires. 

11th Miller Genuine Draft 200 (Mid Ohio).

25th New England 200 (Loudon NH). Accident while running 3rd.

6th Molson Indy Vancouver.

5th Toyota Grand Prix of Monterey.

7th out of 46 Final Championship Standings.

Scott would later reflect that this Lola was his favorite of all the race cars he drove during his hall of fame career. You can read Scott’s “My Favorite Race” article in the Nov.-Dec. 2019 issue of Vintage Motorsport magazine. Photos of the article pages are included in the Photo section below. 

After the 1995 season the Lola was retired. The car has since been restored by John Cummiskey Racing. To see photos of the restoration process, please see 1995 Lola T9500 Michigan 5000 Winner Restoration by Cummiskey Racing

Since restoration, the Lola has been the subject of a comprehensive GSD Racedyn chassis analysis and set up. This has dramatically improved the handling and performance of the car. The report will be included with the car. Since then the Lola has been tested and run in two vintage racing events, totaling approximately 5 hours on the full restoration, including the engine and gearbox. It was last raced in September, 2023. 

Description

The Lola’s chassis is a safe, crash test mandated, carbon composite monocoque tub with the engine and gearbox as stressed components.  

There are approximately five hours on the 2.65 liter four valve, quad cam, turbocharged Cosworth XB Series 2 engine built by VDS Racing Engines in Indianapolis. It produces approximately 770 h,p. The engine is managed with Motec electronics. The engine’s power is transmitted through the Lola’s six speed sequential transaxle with LSD, which houses Hewland internals. 

Both front and rear suspension are by dual unequal length wishbones with push rods and bell cranks. The car runs Ohlins dampers and Brembo brakes for all four corners. The tires are Avon A11 radial slicks; 275/635/R15 front and 350/720/R15 rear. The Lola is equipped with cockpit adjustable front and rear roll bars, and a brake bias adjuster. 

Spares include an extra set of wheels, starter, and various springs. The Lola does come with a very helpful operations manual as well. A fresh, zero-hour, Cosworth XB is available, but not included with the sale of the car. 

The Lola is in excellent condition, and genuinely race-ready. It will make its next appearance in the Historic IndyCar race at this year’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in April, 2024. The Lola finished second at Long Beach in 1995, and looks to finish one better this year.  

Come see the race, and the Lola in action, at Long Beach. Here is the Grand Prix of Long Beach Schedule. If you are seriously interested, we would be happy to introduce you at the race to the owner, driver, and mechanic that takes care of the car. It will be the perfect opportunity to take in a great weekend of racing, and see the car up close and personal, and watch it perform in its element. Win-win-win. If you’ve not attended the Grand Prix of Long Beach event before, don’t miss it. Hollywood meets Monaco and more. 

All vehicle descriptions are accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. Corrections, and supplemental information, are always welcome. Buyers are responsible for confirming vehicle histories, condition, and authenticity to their own satisfaction prior to purchase. Motorsports Market is not the owner of the vehicle and assumes no liability for errors and omissions.

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Photos

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