|Mike Newton, CEO of CCTV specialist, AD Group|
The result confirms the RML AD Group team as one of the most successful in the LMP2 category in the current era, having finished as runners-up to the title in both 2005 and 2006, and winning the class at Le Mans those same two years. In June this year Mike and Tommy recorded another podium finish in the 24-hours, making 2010 one of the team's most rewarding seasons. With strong results in every round, including a win in the Algarve, RML AD Group required only a finish at Silverstone to take the 2010 title. Instead, a strong start by Brazilian Thomas Erdos, consolidated by a robust middle stint from Mike Newton, and an excellent anchoring run from Ben Collins, saw the Number 25 Lola through to a comfortable fourth place at the flag.
"I am delighted to take the title again after two very difficult years," admitted Mike Newton, Founder and Chief Executive of AD Group, the team's principal sponsor. "I think there had been a tendency for people to dismiss us as a force to be reckoned with. The championship has moved on significantly since we last won in 2007, and there was a perception that perhaps we weren't strong enough any more. Regaining the title demonstrates that, given the right package, we can still deliver the goods. The Lola HPD has been utterly reliable all season."
|In the pits|
This was a sentiment shared by Thomas Erdos: "Last year we suffered many issues. The only difference this season has been the fantastic engine that HPD has provided, with its power, driveability and incredible reliability. All the other factors have remained the same, and that illustrates just how excellent RML is at putting the whole package together. Winning the title is exactly what the team's engineers, mechanics and technicians deserve, and my heartfelt thanks go to them."
Ben Collins took the chequered flag on Sunday in a measured and disciplined final stint from the driver better known, until recently, as The Stig. "I was carrying the baton for Mike and Tommy," he explained. "They have done all the hard graft this season, working towards the title. I have just came in at the end of the year and been lucky enough to share in their rewards." Ben drove well, within his own and the car's capabilities, to ensure a risk-free run to the flag. "It has been great having Ben with us for the second half of the year," said Mike. "He's fitted in so well, but when he joined us we had no expectation that he would bring quite so much public interest with him."
Speaking on behalf of AD Group, Pauline Norstrom, the company's Motorsport & Marketing Director, expressed her delight. "Securing the title is such a relief, we are ecstatic!" she said. "At last, all the hard work has paid off, and we are delighted to give our guests a taste of success. Winning the title again is a fantastic reflection on Phil Barker and everyone else in the team and we are extremely grateful for all their professionalism and dedication. Ours must be one of the longest standing sponsor/team relationships in the Le Mans Series, and this is a great endorsement of our ability to create return on investment (ROI) through our involvement in motor sport. Regaining the title is something that has eluded us for too long, and we hope they will enjoy celebrating this achievement as much as I know we will."
Beyond the on-the-track action, the five-round Le Mans Series provides an invaluable opportunity for AD Group to showcase the latest CCTV innovations to guests, whether that be Dedicated Micros' award-winning Closed IPTV system or AD Network Video - the enterprise video arm for the Group, and to offer customers hands-on experience of the products in a comprehensively equipped demo vehicle. AD Group's CCTV technology is also playing a vital role in the Number 25 Lola HPD race car through a motor sport variant of the award-winning TransVu DVR (Digital Video Recorder) - the RML X-PRO Recorder. This is able to deliver dramatic in-car images linked to all-important telemetry data, to assist the drivers in improving their performance. Product demonstration footage from previous races can be found on AD Group's YouTube Channel.
|The team's Lola HPD Coupé racing car|
"With some significant details of the 2011 regulations still to be determined it is not yet possible for us to make any firm decisions," stated Mike Newton, "but we are committed to putting a new package together for next season, and we have every intention of defending our title." Those regulations are likely to be settled in the coming weeks, and a statement will follow. In the meantime, the team's title-winning Lola Coupé is now for sale, either as an LMP2 contender or as the basis for an LMP1 package under the modified regulations.