Spa: RML victorious race report

RML Victorious from start to finish The RML AD Group MG Lola recorded an impressive start-to-finish LMP2 win in the Spa 1000 kilometres in Belgium yesterday for Round 4 of the 2007 Le Mans Series, not only taking class honours, but finishing...

RML Victorious from start to finish

The RML AD Group MG Lola recorded an impressive start-to-finish LMP2 win in the Spa 1000 kilometres in Belgium yesterday for Round 4 of the 2007 Le Mans Series, not only taking class honours, but finishing in an unprecedented third position overall.

The MG Lola EX264 ran faultlessly, while equally impeccable driving stints from both Thomas Erdos and Mike Newton were matched by some exemplary pitwork by the entire RML crew.

Erdos took the rolling start, skillfully negotiating a start-line incident between two of the LMP1 cars ahead of him, and was never headed from that moment on. During a flawless opening double-stint the Brazilian established a class lead of nearly fifty seconds, which Mike Newton not only maintained, but extended during a solid middle-stint, frequently interrupted by safety car periods and threatening rain. By the time Erdos returned to the cockpit for the final two hours the MGs lead had been extended to almost two minutes.

The race had not been without incident, however, and Mike Newton was fortunate that a glancing blow from Christian Fittipaldi in the Team Modena GT1 Aston Martin caused only modest damage, and he had been able to press on to the next pitstop without delay. Other teams and cars were not so fortunate, and nineteen of the forty-nine starters failed to make the distance.

The performance from the LMP2 category was particularly robust around the seven- kilometre Spa-Francorchamps circuit, and the nimble category-two cars were constantly harrying the more powerful LMP1 runners. The RML MG led the charge, having started from tenth overall. Erdos and Newton worked steadily through the field to achieve the squads first-ever overall podium finish, finishing third behind the #7 Peugeot 908 and last years LMP1 championship-winning Pescarolo Sport #16. Not since Donington Park in 2006, when the team finished fourth, has the RML challenge looked so strong.

A delighted Thomas Erdos said: "It's an absolutely fantastic result, and demonstrates just how strong this package is. It also demonstrates how the team's determination and commitment has carried us through from the beginning of the year, when all the other teams looked so strong. Our pitwork was perfect today, the car ran like clockwork, and we were there where it mattered at the end."

Adam Wiseberg, Motorsport Director of AD Group, principal sponsor of the RML sportscar programme, was full of praise for the team, he said: That was one of those races when just about everything went exactly right for us, he said. We made all the right calls and everyone did an excellent job. Its a great feeling to have achieved back-to-back victories, particularly when one considers the quality of the competition, and how the class is improving race by race. "

The team also won last time out at the Nurburgring in Germany.

Mike Newton said: "That was an action-packed race all the way through, I had to push hard nearly all the time! This result finally pulls us clear of the rest, and gives us a clear championship lead to carry forwards to the next round at Silverstone on September 18th and 19th."

The Wellingborough-based squad also had further reason to celebrate, with a RML designed Saleen S7-R winning the GT1 class.

-credit: rmlmallock.co.uk

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Series ELMS