RML MG Lola won an incident-filled LMP2 class in the 1000Km European Le Mans Series race at Donington Park. The ...
RML MG Lola won an incident-filled LMP2 class in the 1000Km European Le Mans Series race at Donington Park. The #25 car of Mike Newton and Tommy Erdos had an early puncture but came back strongly and benefitted from a last-minute problem with the #22 Rollcentre Racing Radical to take the win.
Tommy Erdos kept the lead at the start in his MG Lola EX 264 but soon dropped back behind the #24 Binnie Motorsports Lola Zytek of Sam Hancock. An intense battle then ensued for second place with Erdos closely followed by the #40 ASM Team Racing for of Miguel Angel de Castro and the #22 Rollcentre Racing Radical of Joao Barbosa.
Erdos pitted on lap 25 because of a puncture and this put him back by over a minute. At the same time Barbosa dived down the inside of Angel de Castro at Redgate to take second place on lap 27, which became the lead when Hancock was tapped off the circuit into the gravel at McLeans on lap 32 although he was able to rejoin in fifth. Erdos then put in a strong stint to close in on Angel de Castro by one second per lap and set his fastest laps of the race so far.
Barbosa's car started to develop gearbox problems and de Castro took the lead of the class on lap 62 by diving inside Barbosa at the chicane, and at the start of the next lap Erdos passed inside Barbosa at Redgate.
Hancock spun off the circuit with a right-rear tyre problem while in fifth place on lap 60 and this brought out the Safety Car while the stricken car was pushed back on the circuit and started the long slow crawl back to the garage.
Smoke started pouring from the back of Angel de Castro's Lola as the safety car came out. The vehicle was pushed backwards into the garage and after some investigation was retired from the race with a burned piston.
Barbosa handed over to Martin Short during the pit stops who had a one-lap lead over the #25 RML MG of Mike Newton, who suffered a right-rear puncture on lap 91 and lost time coasting back to the pits but continued in second place.
The #22 Rollcentre was awarded a stop-go penalty on lap 103 for passing under a yellow flag, and the #36 Paul Belmondo Racing of Karim Ojjeh in third place was also awarded a penalty during which he stalled. Ojjeh made up for this error with an extremely strong stint and repeatedly put in fastest laps as he ran in third position.
Rob Barff took over the #22 Rollcentre Racing Radical and maintained a one-lap lead over Erdos in the #25 RML MG Lola and running in fourth place overall.
The #36 Paul Belmondo Racing Courage retired with gearbox problems on lap 202 at the hands of Pierre Ragues, promoting the #20 Pierre Bruneau Pilbeam of Marc Rostan to third position.
Barff pitted the #22 Rollcentre Racing Radical on lap 233 for a splash-and-dash pit stop but the car refused to start due to a problem with the starter motor. The mechanics worked on the back of the car as Tommy Erdos gradually closed up in the #25 RML MG Lola, and Erdos eventually took the lead with ten minutes to go.