Rand Racing has purchased two MG Lola EX257 sports cars in preparation for competition in the 2003 American Le Mans Series. Although the cars are built for the LMP675 class, team owner Bill Rand has set a higher goal. "I think the MG Lola can...
Rand Racing has purchased two MG Lola EX257 sports cars in preparation for competition in the 2003 American Le Mans Series. Although the cars are built for the LMP675 class, team owner Bill Rand has set a higher goal.
"I think the MG Lola can beat the prototypes," he said, referring to the more powerful LMP900 cars. "I think it can be done with the proper team, and I think we have the proper team. I don't just think we can win the 675 class, I think we can go out there and win races overall."
Rand Racing will take delivery of the Lola EX257 chassis No. 5 in July and will receive a second chassis prior to the 2003 season. Rand says he won't enter a race with the new cars until the team has completed extensive endurance testing and is ready to win.
Meantime, he says the team's target for 2002 hasn't changed - to win the SRPII driver and team championships in the Rolex Sports Car Series, sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association. The team has won every race it has entered, with two Nissan Lolas prepared by the veteran Risi Competizione crew.
SRPII points leader Terry Borcheller of Phoenix drives the No. 8 Lola with Anthony Lazzaro of Acworth, Ga. Rand, of Plano, Tex., and Niclas Jönsson of Aliso Viejo, Calif., drive the No. 7 car. German Ralf Kelleners and Scot Marino Franchitti join the team for selected races.
Rand is clear on his team's objectives for the 2002 and 2003 seasons, but he has one more goal to add to the list - an overall win in the 24 Hours of Daytona. The team won the SRPII class this year and finished third overall, after leading every class lap for 24 hours.
"The focus this year is Grand-Am and it will be Grand-Am throughout the season," Rand explained. "Once we get the MG and get tested, we will run a full American Le Mans season next year. But we'll also run the 24 Hours of Daytona. We've got unfinished business there; we're going after an overall win."