Monza: RML race report

Points Finish for RML on FIA GT Debut The RML team endured a frustrating FIA GT debut in Monza yesterday but came away with its first 2004 championship points. The number 7 and 8 Saleen's ran reliably throughout the race and both took the ...

Points Finish for RML on FIA GT Debut

The RML team endured a frustrating FIA GT debut in Monza yesterday but came away with its first 2004 championship points. The number 7 and 8 Saleen's ran reliably throughout the race and both took the chequered flag - the only S7R's to finish - but were hampered by a number of punctures.

Having posted one of the fastest times in pre-season testing earlier this month Mike Newton and Tommy Erdos returned to Monza with high hopes for a podium finish. Throughout practice both drivers worked on race set up and were happy with their sixth place qualifying position having decided to approach this first event cautiously.

Tommy started the race and by the end of the first lap had moved up from his sixth place grid position to fourth. Later in his stint he moved up to third position where he was running strongly until he spotted smoke at the rear of the car. Believing the car was on fire he pulled over as quickly as possible and climbed out. Only then did he realise that one of his rear tyres had punctured. Tommy climbed back on board and nursed the car back to the pits, losing several laps. Later in the race car 7 picked up another puncture moving it further down the leaderboard finally finishing just outside the GT points in ninth position.

Miguel Ramos and Chris Goodwin in car 8 were also approaching this event with caution as they had not tested the car prior to free practice on Friday - much of which was run in damp conditions. The pair had their first real dry run in Saturday qualifying taking 12th position for Sunday's race.

On their way to a GT eighth place and points finish Chris and Miguel were forced to pit on three occasions. First to cure a front-end vibration (change of wheels/tyres), then to change a punctured rear tyre and finally - a few laps from the end - to replenish engine oil.

Ray Mallock commented "It was a frustrating day but we are very pleased to have both cars running quickly and reliably at the end. The team did a fantastic job to get the number 8 car running in just a few short weeks and I am sure we can mount a stronger challenge in Valencia next month"

RML's 4,300 square metre facility in Northamptonshire, England includes full design, development, manufacturing and operational support for international race/rally programmes and automotive engineering projects.

The organisation has achieved championship success in a diverse range of motorsport categories including GT/sportscars, touring cars, rally cars, single seaters and oval speedway cars. In 2004 RML teams are competing in the FIA GT Championship, British Touring Car Championship, Le Mans Endurance Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

-rml-

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Chris Goodwin , Mike Newton , Miguel Ramos , Ray Mallock