Published on 22 June, 2006
The MG Lola EX264 owned by CCTV manufacturer AD Group - the parent company of Dedicated Micros - and run by RML has emerged victorious once again in the LMP2 class at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Securing the "baby" prototype class two years running - unprecedented for a British team - is impressive by any standards in such a testing endurance race at what is the most famous sports car venue in the world.
Sponsored by AD Group companies including AD Aerospace, Dedicated Micros, D-Tec, RemGuard and TSS, the #25 MG Lola also had AD Group's CEO Mike Newton behind the wheel. For this three driver race Mike, and Brazilian Thomas Erdos, the regular driver pairing in the MG Lola, were joined by Andy Wallace who won outright with Jaguar in 1988.
Said Adam Wiseberg, AD Group Director: "We are absolutely delighted with the result. To win once at Le Mans is unforgettable but to secure the LMP2 class for a second time, 12 months on, is truly remarkable. It really is a testament to the focus and preparation of the team and the drivers. Our total domination of the class is underlined by the gap of over 1 hour to the second placed car. None of the other classes in the race were won by more than a 20 minute margin."
The signs were positive from the start, with Brazilian Thomas Erdos posting the fastest LMP2 time during Thursday's qualifying to secure the top grid position in class. During the race proper the MG led the LMP2 class for all but a handful of laps, proving itself fast, rugged and reliable.
AD Group's CEO Mike Newton was driving the car when it crossed the line to take the chequered flag just after 5pm on Sunday afternoon. He actually managed to overtake a close challenger on the final lap to take 8th position overall - the highest ever finishing position for an LMP2 car.
Commented Mike: "It really was a fantastic moment, the stuff from which dreams are made, to repeat last year's success and be in the driving seat right at the very end. It's a great feeling to be able to show that last year's win was no fluke and to have dominated the class throughout the race. Only Audi with their massive manufacturer's budget achieved the same domination of their class and our winning margin was more than three times theirs."
On the pit wall to welcome him home were Mike's co-drivers and the rest of the team. It was an emotional moment for everyone with 280,000 fans looking on - not only because the class win of 2005 had been repeated but also because this time they had done it from the front.
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