RML sets fast pace in pre-season testing
Ray Mallock Ltd (RML) has underlined its ambition to challenge for the 2004 FIA GT Championship with a series of impressive performances at Estoril and Monza. Tommy Erdos and Mike Newton - who will be entering their second season of the FIA GT together - did over eight hours running at the two circuits and finished up topping the times in the final session at Monza, late on Friday afternoon.
Phil Barker, Operations Director at RML and Team Manager is delighted with the pre-season testing despite problems with the weather early on: "Estoril was effectively a Dunlop tyre test. Although we lost the first day and half due to our vehicles getting stuck in snow in France and Spain, when we actually started running the test went remarkably well. We looked at a range of possible tyre combinations and, even on baseline tyres the Saleen performed very well, in fact, and by end of session we were one and half seconds up on our times in similar testing last year!
"At Monza the focus at the start was again on tyre testing using endurance running to make up for the delays in Spain. Crucially we were able to come up with a new front and rear tyre combination to start the 2004 season. On the only run we did with new tyres at Monza we were faster then all the other FIA GT contenders by a quarter of a second in that session. The time we set was actually less than a tenth behind the fastest time set all day, despite the fact that the track temperature was dropping rapidly by then. We believe that there is still more to come and are very excited about our prospects in the season opener in three weeks time."