RML AD Group's "Third Driver" for Algarve Ben Collins, racing with RML AD Group 2010 RML AD Group is pleased to confirm the appointment of a new third driver for Round Three of the 2010 Le Mans Series in the Algarve later this month. Thirty-five...
RML AD Group's "Third Driver" for Algarve
Ben Collins, racing with RML AD Group 2010 RML AD Group is pleased to confirm the appointment of a new third driver for Round Three of the 2010 Le Mans Series in the Algarve later this month. Thirty-five year-old Ben Collins, who raced V8 Supercar Endurance in Australia last season, has a long association with RML, having won the ASCAR European Championship with the team in 2003.
"I'm just over the moon!" said a delighted Collins. "We had spoken last year about a possible programme, but that wasn't feasible at the time, so it was one of those miracle moments when the phone rang again a few days ago and we were able to sort out the details. I've kept in touch with RML ever since we won the ASCAR title together. RML is a fantastic team to work with and I thoroughly enjoyed driving for them, so I've been keen to get back in with them again for some time now."
"We enjoyed a very fruitful period with Ben, winning the ASCAR championship, and I have always been impressed by the standard of his driving," said Phil Barker, team manager of RML's Lola HPD sportscar programme. "He was works driver with Ascari for many years, and was very rapid in their LM prototype, so he's undoubtedly got the pace. I believe he's also got the fire and determination to make this deal pay off. I'm looking forward to working with him again."
"I hope I can put in a good performance in the Algarve, and work towards becoming a stable part of the team," admitted Collins. "I hear Tommy has suggested I may keep him on his toes, which is very generous, and I do hope he's right, but he'll certainly keep me on mine. I want to fit in with Mike, Tommy and the rest of the team as best I can, and as quickly as I can."
Ben's work with Ascari saw him make two appearances in the Le Mans 24 Hours. "My heart has always been in sportscar racing. I loved competing at Le Mans and I've wanted to get back into this kind of racing for years, so this is the perfect opportunity for me," he said. "Prototypes are certainly the type of cars that seem to suit my driving style."
"I've raced against Tommy, but never with him, but I'm really looking forward to it. He's very open and friendly, and an excellent racing driver. I will also appreciate working with someone like Mike Newton, who makes the whole thing happen. He's very experienced and has a solidly professional approach. His work ethic appears to be very similar to RML's, which is possibly why they get on together so well. Phil Barker runs a very tight ship and under his management the team has a very professional, positive outlook, and this must contribute towards the success they've had over recent years."
"We are delighted to welcome Ben Collins to join our regular duo, AD Group CEO Mike Newton and Tommy Erdos," said Pauline Norstrom, Motorsport & Marketing Director of AD Group. "Mike and Tommy have already proved themselves at the leading edge of motorsport, both in terms of skill and technology, and Ben brings with him over 15 years of international motorsport experience. AD Group's guests at the event in the Algarve will be pleased to be rubbing shoulders with such a well-known celebrity both from within and outside the Motorsport arena"
Ben is familiar with the new Autodromo do Algarve, having tested there last season. "I know the circuit fairly well, which is a bonus," he admitted. "It's a fabulous track and I really enjoy the challenge. It's very fast and the perfect venue for an endurance race, especially in a prototype, with sharp drops and high-speed corners. It's spectacular and very exciting."
The team heads out to Portugal next week, with the Algarve 1000 Kilometres scheduled for the evening of Saturday 17th July.