Today’s news about Lola Cars International entering administration is pretty depressing. When I started following motor sport in the 1980s, ingenious British racing car manufacturers such as Eric Broadley’s Lola ruled the racing formulae outside of F1.

In International Formula 3000 for example, Huntingdon-based Lola were joined by the likes of Reynard (from Bicester and later Brackley), Ralt (Australian-originated, but based in Woking) and March (Bicester again).

Their individual fortunes ebbed and flowed, but between them their chassis won every F3000 championship from the formula’s inception in 1985 to its finish in 2004.

Across the Atlantic, there was a time when to succeed in the Champ Car single-seater series you had to have a March, Lola or Reynard. Even US racing team Penske set up a base in Poole, Dorset to manufacturer its chassis.