Thomas Erdos test preview

Erdos in MG Lola Le Mans test Plenty of encouraging news for Thomas Erdos ahead of this weekend's Le Mans test. Confirmation came through today (Friday) that Scottish racing driver Nathan Kinch will be the third driver in the RML MG Lola squad,...

Erdos in MG Lola Le Mans test

Plenty of encouraging news for Thomas Erdos ahead of this weekend's Le Mans test. Confirmation came through today (Friday) that Scottish racing driver Nathan Kinch will be the third driver in the RML MG Lola squad, while recent appointments behind the scenes at RML include three ex-Formula 1 designers and engineers, further strengthening the already impressive credentials of the Wellingborough-based team.

The best news of all came in late March with confirmation that RML's application for a place in this year's 24 Hours had been accepted by the ACO. Despite a pole-setting performance from Erdos in last November's 1000 kilometer LMES race at Le Mans, there was never any guarantee that the team would be back again this June.

Over recent weeks RML has announced a number of very high-profile personnel appointments, including former Jaguar and Jordan Formula 1 designer Gary Anderson. He will be responsible not only for acting as senior race engineer to the #8 Saleen squad in the FIA GT Championship, but will also be key to the ongoing success of the MG Lola project. Joining him is Peter Elleray. As chief designer on the Bentley Speed 8, Peter knows all there is to know about winning at Le Mans, and brings a wealth of Formula 1 and sportscar experience to RML. Aside from his Bentley portfolio, sportscar enthusiasts will also be familiar with his work for Toyota and Nissan. Supporting both is newly appointed chief mechanic Michael Jakeman, with F1 experience with Williams, Benetton and Jaguar.

A list of names such as these is further proof that RML is very serious indeed about its GT and sportscar commitments for 2004. It may take a little while for the effects to filter through to the result sheets, but it can't be far away. "I'm really looking forward to meeting up with Peter Elleray," admitted Erdos. "He was responsible for so much at Bentley and brings so much experience with him. It seems staggering to me that RML has brought people of such calibre into the team, and fills me with confidence for the future."

The Brazilian was also pleased to be joining up with Nathan Kinch again. He last drove alongside the young Scot two years ago, when Nathan tried his hand at a Saleen in the British GT Championship. For some while it seemed likely that the two would pair up for an assault on the FIA GT Championship before Kinch went off to join Lister, and Tommy established his relationship with Mike Newton. Now all three will be together in the MG. "Sharing the car with Mike and Nathan will be a wonderful opportunity," he said.

Now the Le Mans challenge draws ever closer, with the official test sessions taking place on Sunday. "I'm really looking forward to meeting up with the team and driving the MG Lola. It will be my first experience on the full circuit with the prototype, and the thought of sweeping through Indianapolis and the Porsche Curves in an open-topped car is really exciting. It's sure to be so very quick through there," said an enthusiastic Erdos. "We learned a lot about the car during the recent test at Paul Ricard," he admitted, "and it is certainly reassuring to head for Le Mans having done that work, but I'm sure the RML guys will have been busy since then. Ours is an on-going development programme, and now that we've got Gary and Peter on board, I'm sure that process will go forward in leaps and bounds."

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers Mike Newton , Thomas Erdos , Nathan Kinch
Teams Williams , Nissan Motorsports