Published on 1 September, 2008
© Ken Grey, MotorPix
Mike Newton, CEO of AD Group, in his MG Lola EX257 sportscar
Mike Newton, CEO of CCTV specialist AD Group, and two-time class winner at the famous Le Mans 24 Hours was in the spotlight over the August bank holiday weekend. The entrepreneur and racing driver paraded his iconic MG Lola EX257 sportscar with its red, white and blue livery, in front of thousands of spectators at Oulton Park, Cheshire, as part of a celebration of 50 years of Lola racing cars.
Said Newton: "I was delighted to be able to take part, particularly, as some of my most memorable motorsport moments have come in an MG Lola sportscar. It was a fantastic occasion with 50 years of racing history brought to life."
He continues: "Sitting behind the wheel of the MG Lola EX257 at the start of the anniversary parade, putting in a few demonstration laps around Oulton Park, took me back to the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours, where driving for the RML team I helped take the EX257 to its most enduring 24-hour run ever. This really set us up for a memorable 2005 victory in the LMP2 class - the first for a British team - driving the MG Lola EX264 - the successor to the EX257 - to success alongside my long-time co-driver Brazilian Tommy Erdos and Warren Hughes."
Impressively Newton was able to repeat the Le Mans 24 Hours class victory, 12 months on, in June 2006 with Tommy Erdos and a new third driver Andy Wallace. On his way to the chequered flag Newton managed to overtake a close challenger. More recently in the 2007 Le Mans Series of 1,000 km endurance races, Newton and Erdos in the MG Lola EX264 secured Championship honours in the LMP2 class following impressive race wins at Nurburgring, Germany, and Spa in Belgium.
Newton's participation in the celebration at Oulton Park - which kicked-off the Gold Cup meeting - was particularly apt given his local connections and the fact that he began his racing career back in 1985 in the locally based Formula Ford 1600 Championships.
This year Newton has once again been racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Sadly however his challenge came to an abrupt end as his car left the track and took flight at 270 kph. Thankfully he emerged unscathed from the crash which was caught on dramatic in-car CCTV footage using AD Group's TransVu system.
Having recovered from the drama of the Le Mans 24 Hours, Newton can next be seen by British racing fans in the Le Mans Series at Silverstone on the 12-14 September.