The T290 was a Lola’s 1972 contender for the European 2-litre Sports Car Championship for Makes, but remained competitive throughtout the 1980s. It was direct competition to the Chevron B21 and Abarth Osella SE021.
At Lola, Bob Marston, Patrick Head and John Barnard designed an entirely new car to replace the outgoing T210 and T212. The new 1972 car was based on an aluminium monocoque and was intended to fit both 2-liter engines and 3-liter engines in T280 guise.
For the T290 Lola sourced engines from Cosworth Engineering, Ltd. which had just released their Cosworth EA (or, EAA) engine based on the aluminum block of the Chevrolet Vega. Reliability plagued this particularly powerful engine and many Lola teams reverted to the cast-iron block Cosworth FVC by the end of the season.
The European 2-litre Sports Car season featured nine races of which five were won outright by Abarth giving Arturo Merzario the driver’s championship. The mnanufacturer’s championship was decided at the last race with Abarth at 112 pts, Chevron at 109 pts and Lola at Lola at 105 pts.