Mans Series 2011
Team RLR Ready for the 2011 Season
Issued March 14th 2011
Team RLR Ready for 2011 Le Mans Series Campaign
concluded an extensive pre-season testing
programme at the Paul Ricard circuit at the weekend,
Team RLR is now prepared to establish itself as a regular
contender in the LMP2 class of the Le Mans Series in 2011.
successful trip to the south of France for
the Le Mans Series Official Test once again demonstrated
the MG Lola EX265's reliability, and improved pace, plus
provided all three drivers with valuable seat time ahead
of the championship opener at the same venue on April 1-3.
will be the Lancashire-based squad's first full
season in the prestigious endurance racing championship. The
final two rounds of 2010 were contested as a toe-in-the-water
exercise to gain experience, however now armed with a new
Judd engine and having clocked up thousands of test kilometres
at all the major circuits on this year's calendar,
Team RLR is hoping to prove a real thorn in the side of
some of the more established competitors in the field.
Gates, Rob Garofall and Simon Phillips will take
the wheel of the MG Lola EX265 at all five rounds
of the Le Mans Series in 2011 - including Le Castellet
(France), Spa Francorchamps (Belgium), Imola (Italy), Silverstone (Great
Britain) and Estoril (Portugal).
Team Principal Nick Reynolds and his pit crew having
meticulously prepared the car for action over the winter
the squad is aiming to
deliver consistent results and regularly challenge for
honours in the LMP2 class.
the same time Team RLR is building towards
its long-term future in endurance racing by running
a driver development scheme to provide a ladder of
opportunity for up-and-coming sports car drivers - that
could lead all the way to the Le Mans 24 Hour Race.
team has entered two Ligier JS49 Sports Prototypes in
the 2011 SPEED Euroseries, which will act as a support
series on the LMS calendar, visiting all five locations – Paul
Ricard, Spa, Imola, Silverstone and Estoril – in
addition to a stand-alone race weekend at Donington.
RLR Msport - who run the Team RLR MG
Lola EX265 - will use the SPEED Series to enable drivers who
show sufficient potential to earn an opportunity to test
their LMP2 car at the end of the season.
is an ambitious but targeted plan to develop the
team towards the ultimate goal of a successful entry at
the world famous 24 Hours of Le Mans in future seasons.
Nick Reynolds, Team RLR team principal, said:
"We're in good shape. Despite being slightly
frustrated by the weather during some of our testing we've
moved on considerably as an overall package since last
year. Our setup development has gone well. The
car is more driveable, and the drivers are more confident
in both it and themselves with the experience they have
built up. I don't think this circuit will suit
the car as much as the others on the calendar, so it may
not be until the following rounds we can show our true pace. However,
we are looking forward to the season starting for sure
and I'm confident we will perform well."
Barry Gates, Team RLR driver, said:
“I think everyone has done a good job this
weekend and over the close season. We have moved forward
with the setup of the car and the whole team has come on
leaps and bounds compared to last year. The two events
we did last year were always intended to be a learning curve
for us, and since then we have tried to make steady progress
in everything we've been working on. Now we are ready
to go out and be competitive. I can't wait for the
season to start."
Rob Garofall, Team RLR driver, said:
“I'm very much looking forward to competing
in the full Le Mans Series campaign this year. We've
done a lot of testing in the close season and the car has
been very reliable. It was really good to top that
off by doing a lot of laps at Paul Ricard and getting
comfortable in the car ahead of the first race here in
a few weeks. We also now know where are against our
competitors, so it's been very useful. I can't wait to take
what we've learned into the first race now and to
see what we can achieve."
Simon Phillips, Team RLR driver, said:
"I think we are in a good place ahead of the new
season beginning. The purpose of the weekend for me
was to get back in the car following the winter break
and acclimatise myself with it and the track, and I hit my
target in terms of where my pace should be relative to others
with more experience. Having been together as
a squad since the end of last season we work very well
as a unit now. We're all aiming towards
a common goal and that really helps tremendously in
terms of motivation and the atmosphere in the garage. We
have put in a lot of effort to be as prepared as we
can be, and I'm excited about driving in all of
the races in the championship this year."
high resolution images from the test, visit the Paul
Ricard Test Gallery.
here to see timesheets from the Official
Le Mans Series Test at Paul Ricard.
To find out more about Team RLR and its Le Mans Series
campaign log on to: www.rlrmotorsport.com
can also follow Team RLR on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.