RML AD Group racing with Lola and Dunlop in 2010
RML AD Group is pleased to announce that the team's Lola HPD Coupe will be running on Dunlop tyres in the 2010 Le Mans Series and Le Mans 24 Hours.
The move to Dunlop restores a partnership that has helped Ray Mallock Limited (RML) to many successes over the years, including the emotive return of Ecurie Ecosse to the British Touring Car Championship in 1992-1993 with the late David Leslie, and a dominant season in the European Le Mans Series of 2001. On Dunlop tyres, the RML designed, built and managed Saleen S7-R won all but one race and took the team, drivers' and manufacturers' titles.
In 2003 and 2004, RML entered a pair of Dunlop-shod Saleens in the FIA GT Championship (above right), with Mike Newton and Thomas Erdos also competing in the 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Later in 2003 RML and AD Group teamed up with Dunlop to run the ex-works MG Lola EX257 in the Le Mans 1000 Kilometres; the inaugural event of the Le Mans Endurance Series. The RML AD Group EX257 employed Dunlop tyres throughout the 2004 season, including the Le Mans 24 Hours (left). That was the start of the team's sports prototype programme that has since netted two class wins at Le Mans and the Le Mans Series LMP2 title in 2007.
"We're really looking forward to beginning an exciting new partnership with Dunlop," said Phil Barker, Team Manager at RML. "Dunlop has made great strides forwards recently, especially with their LMP2 tyre compounds, and we're feeling very positive about the outcome. We hope their advances will give us an edge this year that should allow us to challenge for podiums right from the start of the season."
"Dunlop has ambitious and exciting plans for the Le Mans series. Working with RML is a key part of our aim to add to our 34 overall wins in the Le Mans 24 Hours and recent class championship wins in the Series," stated Jean-Felix Bazelin, General Manager, Dunlop Motorsport EU. "We have enjoyed a successful partnership with the professional team at RML in many other championships, including the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship, and hope to build on this relationship in 2010"
RML enjoyed considerable success in the 2009 British Touring Car Championship, where the RML-built Racing Silverline Chevrolet Lacetti, fitted with Dunlop tyres, took Jason Plato to seven wins and the runner-up position in the championship.
Thomas Erdos is delighted to be returning to the manufacturer that helped him towards the British GT title. "The very first sportscar I ever raced was on Dunlops, and in 2002 we won the British GT championship with Dunlop," said Tommy. "I have always had an excellent relationship with Dunlop, and in my early years as a professional driver I learned a great deal about how to look after my tyres and how to get the best out of my relationship with the tyre engineers, thanks to their personnel. I feel we have made the right choice in choosing Dunlop as our supplier for 2010 and I'm really looking forward to getting to know the new crop of LMP tyres. I have no doubt that with Dunlop's support the RML AD Group Lola-HPD will be a very competitive package."
The team will be carrying out a shakedown test of the Lola B08/80 HPD this week ahead of the season's first official test at the Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet, near Marseille, on March 7th and 8th.