Published on 15 June, 2010
|Pictured on the podium at the Le Mans 24 Hours are the RML AD Group co-drivers: Andy Wallace, Tommy Erdos and AD Group's CEO Mike Newton|
Photo: David Lord/Dailysportscar
Entrepreneur and long-term racing driver Mike Newton, who is the CEO of CCTV specialist AD Group
- the parent company of Dedicated Micros
- was celebrating on the podium at the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hours on Sunday after coming third in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class alongside co-drivers Brazilian Tommy Erdos and, fellow Briton, Andy Wallace for the RML AD Group team. Newton, who is now very much a Le Mans 24 Hours veteran, already has two class wins - in 2005 and 2006 - to his name and was delighted to be back in the top three, after a gap of three years, and to have the distinction of driving the final leg of the race to take the chequered flag in front of 200,000 spectators.
The RML AD Group team's #25 Lola HPD racecar, with its new Honda Performance Development (HPD) engine, started from third on the grid and that is where it finished after 24 hours of drama and thrilling action. Tommy Erdos took the opening stint and held his grid position through a clean and tidy start. He then prepared to chase the two cars ahead of him, but instead found himself battling with a faulty dashboard display. Misfortune for Nigel Mansell in the Beechdean Mansell Ginetta Zytek gave the RML AD Group team the break they needed, and an unscheduled stop under the safety car had the dash repaired, but left Erdos in a lowly 46th place overall.
On the restart Erdos powered through to 26th inside the first lap, weaving between the slower cars as he fought to catch the LMP2 tail-enders. There he met the stiffer resistance of the other prototypes, but on the hour he'd recovered fifth in LMP2 and 23rd overall. Two hours in and Tommy Erdos claimed fourth, but more critically he was still on the lead lap.
"It was a real privilege to be behind the wheel when the car crossed the line"
AD Group's CEO Mike Newton drove the second stint, dropping just one place after a pitstop before consolidating the position over the next two hours and handing the #25 Lola HPD across to Andy Wallace for a triple stint. Smooth and always consistent, Wallace pressed on to 8.30 pm and the swap with Erdos. The Brazilian then took the difficult stint from dusk through to midnight and a driver-change with Mike Newton. Through the hours of darkness with Newton behind the wheel the Lola remained in contention, repeatedly knocking at the door of fourth. Another triple stint from Thomas Erdos saw the car safely through dawn and into the bright sunshine of a new day, picking up a fastest lap of 3:37.921 along the way.
A double stint from Mike Newton, followed by another triple from Wallace, brought Erdos back into the car with four hours to go. Still running fourth in LMP2, misfortune for the #26 Highcroft HPD rewarded RML AD Group with a first glimpse of a podium finish. With no chance of catching second, the final three stints were driven at a more conservative pace, with Erdos, then Wallace, and finally Mike Newton, taking care to ensure a strong and untroubled journey to the all important flag. The class win went to Strakka Racing, with Oak second and RML AD Group third (eighth overall).
Commented AD Group's CEO Mike Newton: "It was a real privilege to be behind the wheel when the car crossed the line. This was a fantastic result for Tommy, Andy and everyone at the RML AD Group team, especially, given that we've been running a new racecar package with Lola and Honda Performance Development (HPD). Three podiums from three consecutive races - two in the Le Mans Series and now at the Le Mans 24 Hours - are pretty impressive. Yes, it might have been nice to be on the top step, but we were running a genuine pro-am team and some of the others were always going to have the edge on pace. However, we believed that as long as we were reliable and stayed out of trouble we'd be there at the end, which proved to be the case."
|The finishing line beckons for AD Group's CEO Mike Newton in the Lola LPD racecar at the Le Mans 24 Hours|
Photo: David Blumlein/Studio 21
"We're absolutely over the moon!" said Pauline Norstrom, Motorsport and Marketing Director of AD Group. "In this, our flagship event of the season, we're delighted for the guests of AD Group, who have been so impressed by the team's professionalism, planning and strategy. These are characteristics that we hope they can associate with our own business and our video surveillance technology. I would just like to congratulate the team on their immense commitment and to thank them for delivering such a tremendous result for us."
As well as sponsoring the racing on the track, the Le Mans 24 Hours provided AD Group and its subsidiaries with an invaluable opportunity to offer corporate hospitality to customers from across the world, including garage and pitlane tours and driver Q&A sessions. At the Le Mans 24 Hours, AD Group had around 40 key guests in attendance to witness the podium finish and they were also able to see the 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 to have hands-on experience 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 linked to all-important telemetry data. Product demonstration footage from previous races, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, can be found on AD Group's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/anglodesigngroup.
In addition to the Le Mans 24 Hours, Mike Newton and the RML AD Group team is also competing in the six-round Le Mans Series and in the first two races this year has secured a third and second place. The team will be hoping to go one better in the next round which is scheduled for the Algarve, Portugal, in mid-July.
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 for more information on its success at the Le Mans 24 Hours log on to: http://www.rml-adgroup.com/.