Reflections on Le Mans 24 Hours
After returning from the 74th Le Mans 24 Hours with another LMP2 victory in their hands the RML team have had time to catch up on some well deserved sleep and reflect on the race that saw them not only dominate the LMP2 class throughout but cross the line in 8th position overall.
As current class champions and the favourites to win the LMP2 class this year there was a lot of pressure on the team to perform well. Drivers Mike Newton, Tommy Erdos and Andy Wallace all rose to the challenge in superb style, driving faultlessly through double and sometimes triple stints to stay ahead of the opposition. A misfire and vibration had caused the mechanics to back the car into the garage on three occasions during the race but the team had opened up a significant gap to their nearest class rivals to not feel threatened.
Ray Mallock, RML's Chief Executive commented "Our back to back Le Mans victories show the depth of the RML team capabilities. The other very pleasing aspect of the victory was the team winning the award for technical excellence, a well justified recognition of RML's teamwork."
Phil Barker, Team Manager commented "Personally this was the hardest Le Mans I've ever had but I am overwhelmed with the team's performance. To come back after all our problems last year, which we had successfully overcome, and achieve such a good result on track is fantastic. We led the class for 315 of the 343 laps which is awesome."
Tommy Erdos set the fastest LMP2 time in qualifying on Thursday to put the MG on the 6th row of the grid at the start. He crossed the line at the finish in the MG last year and was happy to hand that honour over to Mike Newton this year. He commented this week;
"There were so many things about this year's race that I really enjoyed. Firstly the fact that we started the race without any problems and we ran competitively throughout the event, always inside the top ten overall and for most of the race inside the top 6 or 7. To see Mike put in some impressive lap times and not put a foot wrong all race and then for him to drive the car across the finish line was very special. Sharing the car with Andy Wallace was a real treat for me. I have so much respect for him. He is a true professional. He's the perfect partner for the Le Mans 24. I hope we can work together again in the near future."
"I was also very proud of the RML crew who won the award for best crew in the pit lane" he continued, "and there were some serious factory teams there. No small achievement! The lads so deserved this not only for this year's efforts but also for what they did in 2005. Two consecutive wins at Le Mans with different chassis/engine/driver combinations is a true testament of the quality of the RML team. I am proud to be a member of this Le Mans wining Team!"
The MG Lola EX264 will be on display in the main pavilion of the MGCC event at Silverstone this coming weekend. The event takes place from 24th -- 26th June.