RML Prototype return to Le Mans RML travel to France this week for the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours with the MG Lola EX 257, their first LMP entry since 1990. The team have experience of the prestigious event stretching back over twenty years,...
RML Prototype return to Le Mans
RML travel to France this week for the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours with the MG Lola EX 257, their first LMP entry since 1990. The team have experience of the prestigious event stretching back over twenty years, with Ray Mallock himself having competed in the race eight times.
RML and Ray Mallock have been the driving force behind several Le Mans programmes over the years, being responsible for the design, development and operation of a number of cars. Ray made his race debut at the track in 1979 with the 3 litre Fisons Lola and subsequent years saw him compete with the RML developed Aston Martin Nimrods, then Ecurie Ecosse Group C2 cars and in 1989 Aston Martin's return with the AMR1.
RML ran the LMP Nissan Lola in 1990, leading the race for several hours before fuel tank failure forced it out. In 1995 RML supported the winning McLaren F1 GTR team and more recently they have contested the event with the RML designed and built Saleen S7R with an entry in 2001/2 and in 2003 the team supported Graham Nash Motorsport with the same car.
This years entry, the MG Lola EX 257, first came to RML in late 2002 where they carried out a development programme on the car. The teams race debut took them to Le Mans for the 1000km on the Bugatti circuit last November. A strong performance in the race and subsequent testing has proved the cars potential and a reliable run at Monza's 1000km event earlier this year saw the team finish in a credible 7th position.
This years driver line-up sees the regular pairing of Mike Newton and Tommy Erdos being joined by 22 year old Nathan Kinch. Mike and Tommy have both competed in the Le Mans 24 hours before with the Saleen and achieved a highly credible 6th in the GTS class last year. Nathan brings with him an impressive track record in sportscar racing and has also driven the full 24 Hours circuit having qualified for the race in 2003. His race debut was curtailed however when his team mate crashed in qualifying, sustaining too much damage to repair for the race.
RML are also pleased to have the support of Virgin Mobile at this years event. Virgin Mobile are now established as one of the most successful virtual network operators in the world and are the UK's fastest growing telecommunications company.
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 will compete in the FIA GT Championship, British Touring Car Championship, Le Mans Endurance Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours.