RML MG Lola wins LMP2 at Nurburgring 1000 km's The RML driver pairing of Mike Newton and Thomas Erdos secured a memorable LMP2 victory in the Nurburgring 1000 kilometers today for Round 3 of the 2007 Le Mans Series. In a race where few cars ...
RML MG Lola wins LMP2 at Nurburgring 1000 km's
The RML driver pairing of Mike Newton and Thomas Erdos secured a memorable LMP2 victory in the Nurburgring 1000 kilometers today for Round 3 of the 2007 Le Mans Series.
In a race where few cars encountered the usual problems, it was an especially sweet win for the Wellingborough-based team. The knowledge that they had beaten tough opposition on pace alone came as rich reward after the disappointment of missing out on a hat-trick of class wins in the Le Mans 24 Hours just a fortnight ago. That sensation also came as some recompense for the many occasions over the past two seasons when near-certain victory has been snatched away at the last moment by a bizarre failure or unforeseen mishap. This time, against one of the toughest grid's yet amassed for the Le Mans Series, the RML AD Group MG EX264 swept through from start to finish in a supreme demonstration of pit lane efficiency and unbeatable pace.
Following on from claiming pole on Saturday, Thomas Erdos drove a faultless first double-stint. The red, white and blue MG lead the LMP2 class all the way, save for a three-lap break created by an early pitstop for fuel, and he handed over at the end of two hours with a lead of over a minute from the second-placed Quifel ASM Lola.
Mike Newton, who had already demonstrated a considerable improvement in speed during free practice, maintained that level of pace for the next third of the race. Lapping consistently and without drama, he was able to hand back the MG for the final two hours with the advantage comfortably intact. It then rested with Thomas Erdos to steer the car home; a feat he achieved with considerable finesse, not only extending the lead, but setting a new race lap record along the way of 1:49.031
"That was absolutely brilliant!" said an overjoyed Erdos. "This is why we do what we do. To come here and beat the opposition purely on pace alone is a great feeling. The car was perfect, and it was a simple fact that nobody had an answer to what we were able to do."
Adam Wiseberg, Motorsport Director for AD Group, shared that exuberance. "What a performance by everyone in the team", he said. "The pit crew, the team manager, and most of all, the two drivers. What they have achieved today is simply remarkable. That first double-stint from Tommy broke the back of the opposition, and a cool, mature drive from Mike maintained the advantage. This has been a fantastic race to win, not least because it has come as a result of our maintaining a faster pace than everyone else." Part of that credit must go to the pit crew. The RML MG spent less time in the pits than any other car save one, and that achievement was wholly down to the efficiency and experience of the engineers and mechanics servicing the car. "The guys achieved some excellent pitstops", agreed Phil Barker, Team Manager at RML. "The car was consistent, and both drivers were on top of their game, and it was a great all-round performance."
Mike Newton could not take the smile off his face. "We wondered at the start of the year if we would be able to match the pace of the new chassis and drivers line-ups when we came to a race where everyone ran clean and strong. We quite expected we'd have to settle for second, or worse. This has been that race, and yet we've won, on pace alone. Up against the toughest opposition, we've beaten them all, and that feels very, very good."
The next round is at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on August 19th. After the rush of the last ten days, since Le Mans, the next few weeks will come as a welcome break for the team.