Published on 17 May, 2010
The second round of the 2010 Le Mans Series of endurance races - held earlier this month in Spa, Belgium - saw yet another podium finish for AD Group
's CEO Mike Newton in what turned out to be an incident-packed race. This time the CCTV entrepreneur and long-time racing driver - who has two Le Mans 24 Hour class victories to his credit - went one better than the season opener by gaining a well deserved second place for the RML AD Group team alongside co-drivers Tommy Erdos and Andy Wallace.
Competing in the team's Lola B08/80 HPD with its new Honda Performance Development engine, the famous Spa Francorchamps circuit - one of the oldest and most challenging in the world - was the perfect dress rehearsal for the forthcoming Le Mans 24 Hours and the result places the RML AD Group team in a strong position for the Le Mans Series LMP2 title.
In one respect the 2010 Spa 1000km is likely to earn a place in the history books for its unique and very unusual half-time break, caused by a regional power failure. As well as being red flagged for forty minutes while electricity was restored, the race also tested the teams with variations in weather and track conditions, and a succession of alarming crashes and incidents. "The start was very difficult," admitted Tommy Erdos. "The track was damp and unpredictable. Some of the other drivers were prepared to take risks, but I knew the track would come back to me as the dry line developed, and it did." Having lost a bit of ground in the opening half hour, Erdos then worked back through the field to take the class lead and deliver a ten second advantage to AD Group's CEO Mike Newton for the middle third of the race.
Newton faced similar challenges as the characteristic Spa climate threw variations in sunshine and showers across the full breadth of the track, but he handed over to Andy Wallace for the final hour with the #25 Lola HPD holding a strong second in LMP2. As the weather deteriorated, Wallace channelled his experience into hunting down the lead, narrowing the gap by 20 seconds in the last half hour, and putting second beyond doubt.
"That was a solid performance from all three drivers in a difficult race and under extremely demanding conditions," said Pauline Norstrom, Motorsport and Marketing Director for AD Group. "They kept out of trouble and delivered the result we'd worked so hard to achieve. It's a positive reflection on the great management and excellent teamwork associated with the project, both within RML and also AD Group.
"At Spa we had around 30 key guests in attendance and were able to showcase our latest CCTV innovations"
"As well as sponsoring the racing on the track, the Le Mans Series provides AD Group and our subsidiaries with an invaluable opportunity to offer corporate hospitality to customers from across Europe, including garage and pitlane tours and driver Q&A sessions. At Spa we had around 30 key guests in attendance to witness the podium finish and were able to showcase our latest CCTV innovations, whether that be Dedicated Micros' award-winning Closed IP TV system or AD Network Video - the enterprise video arm for the Group, and there was the opportunity for hands-on experience of our surveillance technology in a comprehensively equipped demo vehicle."
AD Group's CCTV technology is also playing a vital role in the new Lola B08/80 HPD racecar through a motorsport variant of the award-winning TransVu DVR (Digital Video Recorder) - the RML X-PRO Recorder. This is able to deliver dramatic in-car images of the Le Mans Series action linked to all-important telemetry data. Footage from previous races, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, can be found on AD Group's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/anglodesigngroup.
For more information on AD Group please visit http://www.ad-group.co.uk/. To keep up-to-date with the RML AD Group team's campaign to secure the Le Mans Series LMP2 title and its entry in the Le Mans 24 Hours (June 12th - 13th) log on to: http://www.rml-adgroup.com/..