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Hours 8-9 (12:00pm-2:00am)

The race moved into Sunday with Thomas Erdos mid-way through a lengthy triple stint, holding sixth place overall, and the lead in LMP2. Further memories of 2005 were generated by the demise of the second Belmondo Courage, which retired early in the new day with transmission failure. Last year the two AER-powered “Belmondos” had taken the fight to RML all the way to the closing minutes of the race, and might well have won the class if they too had not encountered problems in the final hours. This year their race was run far earlier, although they will be back again in 2006, powered by bio-ethanol fuels.

It must have been with some relief that Tommy came down the pitlane at 12:40 to hand over the MG to Andy Wallace, who would himself be facing a similarly lengthy triple-stint. The exchange of seats was rapid and routine, complete with fuel and fresh tyres. The news from Thomas Erdos, however, was not quite so encouraging. “There’s a vibration coming from the front, and it’s getting worse. My vision was getting blurred by the end of that last stint, and there’s also a slight misfire. The gear selection was also a bit temperamental at times, but the vibration was the worst thing. The brake pedal was pulsating, and that was making the car difficult to drive.”

To begin with Andy was able to drive through the problems, and he pressed on regardless. A few laps further back the #39 Lola was encountering the first of what would be several garage-visiting problems, although it would hold 9th overall and second in LMP2 for a while longer yet. At quarter-past one Andy eventually admitted defeat. The vibration was becoming so severe that he could hardly see where he was going, and to continue could become dangerous. The MG trundled down the pitlane, was rapidly refuelled, and then dragged backwards into the garage. The drivers had suggested that the front right-hand corner was the source of the problem, and the telemetry tended to support this assumption, so the engineers set-to and replaced the entire upright, including brake discs and callipers. This is quite a lengthy operation, so other lesser issues were addressed at the same time. The gear “pot”, or potentiometer, was replaced, in the hope of addressing the gear-selection problem. A turbo wastegate was also replaced, more as a precaution than anything else, but the possibility of a “leak” might help account for the loss of power identified by Tommy at the start of the race.

Take your car to the local garage and ask them to do that much work, and they’d want to hold on to it for the day and then charge you a fortune for the privilege. RML’s efficient engineering crew had the whole lot wrapped up in a quarter of an hour. Andy, who’d sat patiently in the cockpit throughout, was roaring away up the road again at half-past one having lost just one place overall; to the class leading GT1 Corvette # 64. Any fears that Warren Hughes might reap the benefits of the MG’s extended stop were allayed by the sight of the #39 Lola with the engine cover off, marking the start of several problem pitstops for the Chamberlain car. Come two o’clock Warren would have fallen back to 14th overall, while Andy would be holding ninth and the class lead.

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Hours 10-12 (2:00am-5:00am)

Soon after heading back into the race Andy confirmed that the vibration had been cured and he was able to press on unhindered towards his next scheduled pitstop at 2:22. Mike, who had been catching up on his beauty sleep in the team motorhome, was given his wake-up call shortly afterwards, giving him a generous half-hour to prepare for his next stint. Some indication of how hot the day before had been came through at quarter to three, when one of the tyre engineers revealed that the track temperature, even at this stage in the early hours of the morning, was still 26 degrees centigrade. Little surprise then that some cars, most notably Thomas Enge in one of the works Aston Martins, had just recorded the car’s fastest lap of the race.

Three-fifteen saw only the second Safety Car period of the race, although this one had no obvious cause. Several cars dived straight into the pitlane, including Mike Newton, while the marshals carried out a general tidy-up around the track – collecting the #98 Porsche on the back of a flatbed, and elsewhere clearing away scatterings of gravel and replacing uprooted bollards. Mike was racing again by 3:17, and caught the tail-end of one of the crocodiles out by Indianapolis. The pause in proceedings lasted just ten minutes, with the green flags waving by twenty-five past three.

The rest of the hour went smoothly for Mike Newton, with the leading Audi coming by to lap the MG at 3:43, and Mike being warned that the next GT runner, the #009 Aston Martin DBR9, was only a lap or so behind. Meanwhile, yet another problem for the #39 Lola had allowed the #27 Miracle Motorsports Courage through into second in LMP2, tenth overall, and five laps behind the MG.

Ten past four, and Mike Newton was back into the pitlane for a scheduled pitstop for fuel and a visual check, the latter made at his insistence after he said he’d clipped the edge of a kerb. He was quickly sent on his way with the car passed fit and well. It was the start of a smooth and unruffled final stint for the AD Chief Executive, which included a televised tussle with the #16 Pescarolo LMP1, way down the order after earlier problems, but working hard to get back into contention. Newton did not make it easy for the Frenchman, and even once the P1 car had got by, it was some while before a meaningful gap appeared between them.

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Hours 13-14 (5:00am-7:00am)

The half-way mark in the race came and went almost unnoticed, with Mike reporting back to the pits that he felt the track wasn’t in too bad condition, but that perhaps his tyres were starting to suffer. He was coming towards the end of his stint, and he’d been driving hard to maintain the kind of pace set previously by his co-drivers. Five minutes later he took the side exit off the end of the Porsche Curves and joined the lengthy pitlane entry, weaving left and right behind the tyre wall, and undulating over the hummock that defines the entry to the pitlane proper. Tommy was there on the apron waiting for him, surrounded by the rest of the crew. As he pulled up neatly to a halt, straps already eased but not undone, the refuellers stepped forwards. The two drivers exchanged positions and seat inserts, Tommy clambering down into the cockpit to be assisted with his belts, just as Phil Barker blew the whistle to announce that the fuelling was done, and the wheel-fitters could go to work. With all four wheels replaced Tommy was given the signal to start the engine, and then waved off, a cloud of brake dust and a smear of rubber the only reminder of his passing. The whole process had taken about a minute at the most.

With the car running strongly, the misfortunes of others became highlighted by the MG’s progress. The Racing for Holland Dome, for so long a serious challenger for an outright podium, had suffered broken steering and crashed heavily on one of the Mulsanne chicanes. Although several laps ahead of Tommy at the time the incident happened, it was less than twenty minutes before the Brazilian swept passed the stricken Dome and moved into sixth position overall – almost back to the earlier high of fifth.

At half past five on Sunday morning the order in LMP2 stood as: RML MG Lola #25 leading, sixth overall, with the #27 Miracle Motorsport Courage second in class, but five laps adrift in 12th place. Third, and even more distant, was the #24 Binnie Motorsports Lola 05/42, 14th overall, with the #22 Rollcentre Radical fourth, fifteenth overall. The long-time challenger, the Chamberlain Synergy Lola #39 was still running, with Warren Hughes making a routine pitstop at 5:37, but had dropped off the bottom of the firs timing screen.

Any signs of the earlier handling problems had disappeared, and with Thomas Erdos throwing down regular laps in the region of three forty-eight or better, the MG’s lead was growing steadily greater. Further unscheduled pitstops for the #22 Radical and the #39 Lola further narrowed the field to just three serious contenders for LMP2 glory – RML, Miracle and Binnie.

Just before six Erdos brought the MG back into the pitlane for another scheduled fuel stop. While data was downloaded from the onboard telemetry a Michelin technician gave the tyres a quick once-over and confirmed them fit for another stint,. In well under a minute, Tommy was back on track again. His progress was serene and relatively untroubled, with the MG circulating well within it’s full potential.

Thirty minutes after the hour Tommy added another lap to the Radical’s disappointment, passing Martin Short at about the same time as RML’s lead over the #27 Miracle Courage grew to eight laps. Ten minutes later the MG crossed the line to notch up its 200th lap, just ahead of Tommy’s last lap of another faultless double-stint, and time to hand on to Andy Wallace. “The car’s fine now,” said a much happier-looking Thomas Erdos. “It’s beautifully driveable – the brakes are good, the gearbox is good, the engine’s good – it all works, and it’s going well.” That’s more than could be said for the track, which Tommy felt was starting to show signs of wear. “The second Mulsanne Chicane is much more uneven than it was, especially from the second apex through to the end, and it’s getting worse. It’s been a dry, fast race, and the loads on the tarmac place a huge demand on the physical structure of the road, and maybe the asphalt is suffering. It’s the same at the Mulsanne Corner. These may be low-speed corners, but as the cars come out on the other side they’re accelerating hard and loading an enormous amount of torque through the tarmac. That’s fifty cars over a lengthy period and all trying to follow the same line.” Adding to the pressure this year may be the two Audi R10s, which are known to generate more torque at the rear wheels than almost any other car. Interestingly, the sections of track picked out by Tommy are normally public roads.

The pitstop came at 6:48, and after fuel, tyres and driver swap Andy was back on the charge. Seven o’clock saw him move on to a total of 206 laps.

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Hours 15-17 (7:00am-10:00am)

The hours around dawn, when shafts of sunlight streak down between the trees, and cresting a rise can bring a driver face to face with the rising sun, are supposed to be among the most difficult to cope with in the Vingt Quatre Heures. Changing light is combined with subtle variations in track temperatures and conditions, and when a driver is already weary from several lengthy stints at the wheel, mistakes are easily made. We witnessed quite a few, but none from any of the RML drivers.

Experience tells, and Andy’s stint turned out to be efficient and untroubled, working through the first fifty minutes to a pitstop at 7:40, and then pressing on for another forty-eight during his second stint to hand over to Mike Newton at half past eight. Along the way he’d passed the spectacular end of the WR Peugeot, which erupted in flames beside one of the Mulsanne chicanes, but this aside, the only point of significant note was that Andy not only retained the lead in LMP2, but also built upon it. “I’m loving it!” he told the interviewer from Radio Le Mans, and to see the grin on his face, you had to believe him.

Mike’s first double-stint of the morning went well, and apart from going round and round in extended circles for an hour and three-quarters, there was little to report. Towards the end of his second stint the race entered its third Safety Car period, caused this time by a trail of oil that ran through Indianapolis and beyond for several hundred metres. Deposited by the class-leading IMSA Performance GT2 Porsche, it must also have been present through some of the earlier corners too, since the Zytek spun at marginally over safety car speeds going through Muslanne Corner, and caught the #16 Pescarolo, sending Emmanuel Collard tripping across the gravel and back to the pits for a precautionary pitstop. Elsewhere, Miguel Amaral had pulled off in the #39 Chamberlain Lola complaining of a complete lack of drive. The car, for so long a contender in LMP2 would not be moving again.

The Safety Car actually came at a convenient moment for RML, with Mike drawing near to the scheduled end of his second stint. At five-to-ten he and Tommy completed their pitstop and driver change, just in time for racing to resume at five-past. Two cars not joining in were the Chamberlain LMP2 Lola and the Barazi Courage, both hitting mechanical problems at the same time and heading for the garage.

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Hours 18-21 (10:00am-2:00pm)

Everything continued to go smoothly. At half past ten the hourly-update on Radio Le Mans gave the RML MG as having completed 257 laps, thirteen ahead of the #27 Miracle Motorsports Courage – the equivalent of roughly fifty minutes on the track. It looked like a useful cushion. At 10:44 Tommy returned to the garage for his scheduled fuel stop, and was swiftly en route once again. Unfortunately it was a brief resumption, since the MG was back on the apron again fifteen minutes later with electrical problems. The alternator belt had broken, but the solution was a little more complicated than simply fitting a new one. The idler pulley that maintains the tension between the alternator and the drive pulley had seized solid, and although the belt had kept spinning over the top of it for some time, it had eventually worn through and disintegrated, leaving the car instantly short of power. Luckily the failure had been picked up very quickly on the telemetry, and the team had instructed Tommy to head directly for the pitlane.

Erdos arrived on the dot of eleven o’clock, and the crew was instantly into action. Refuelled on the apron – always the first job to be done whatever the reason for the pitstop – the MG was quickly hauled backwards into the garage using a trolley. Once there, the full complement of personnel could turn a hand to finding and fixing the problem. With the engine cover removed the broken belt was easily spotted, and the faulty pulley identified as the culprit. The EX264 now carries two alternators, and the quickest fix was to swap the primary feed from the one attached to the seized pulley to the secondary engine alternator. While this was being done the supplementary headlamp pod was removed from the front of the car and the standard damper-cover fitted in its stead. At the same time some extra padding was added beneath Tommy’s seat, in some hope that this might help to alleviate a sciatic nerve pain he’d been suffering since the early hours of the morning. After exactly seventeen minutes, Tommy was heading back out into the race and running seventh overall, just a tad under four minutes clear of the 007 Aston Martin.

Frustratingly, the fix proved to be only a temporary cure. At 11:42 the whole scenario was played out for a second time, with the rear cover and sidepods removed, and people running backwards and forwards between the garage and the truck in search of spares. It transpired that the cables connecting the alternators to the electrical system had suffered internal fractures and the previous remedy had only lasted a short while. The clatter of slamming toolbox shelves echoed through the garage, accompanied by the machinegun rattle of the wheelnut airgun, but the combined noise failed to drown out the barked instructions that kept the operation running smoothly. Six minutes after the car had come to a halt, the engine was fired up once more. A quick blip on the throttle, held at high revs for a second, was sufficient to confirm that the system was now charging properly again. There were thumbs up all round.

It was 11:50 when the engine cover was refitted and the car eased out onto the apron. Once there, Andy fired up the engine and blasted back out into the fray. Another ten minutes had been lost, and the margin in hand over the second-placed Miracle Motorsport entry was narrowing. In the overall stakes, though, another position had been lost; this time to the Luc Alphand GT1 Corvette, which moved through to 7th, leaving the MG on 8th, still ten laps clear of the Courage.

After so many trouble-free hours, the die-hard engineers and technicians in the RML garage were now being asked to prove their mettle on a regular basis, but at least they had a breather of nearly forty minutes before their next call to arms. Once again it was electrical and it came at 12:38, with Tommy bringing the MG back to the garage with a misfire. Thankfully it was quickly and relatively easily fixed, a new set of plugs and coils having the two-litre AER singing sweetly again inside five minutes. It was just enough to drop the MG to tenth place overall, but still with eleven laps in hand over the chasing LMP2 Miracle Courage. The pitstop was also an opportunity to make a time-effective driver change, with Tommy climbing out of the cockpit for the first time in nearly three hours. “I feel like I’ve been in the car for ever!” he said, looking forward to enjoying a few hours rest.

The drivers were continuing with double stints and Andy would stay at the wheel for the next ninety minutes. Having briefly lost the overall position during the pitstop, the MG was swiftly eased back in front of the Team Modena Aston Martin when it too stopped, and this proved to be the only significant order change during the first of Andy’s two stints. He called in for fuel at half-past one, making a characteristically brief and efficient pause outside the garage before being sent back on his way. All signs of the earlier gremlins had now disappeared, and he the MG was performing faultlessly, allowing Wallace to set some of the fastest laps of anyone on rack at the time. As two o’clock approached the next distance milestone was passed, with 300 laps covered in total.

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Hours 22-23 (2:00pm-3:00pm)

Within the other categories the most enthralling race was being played out in GT1, where Aston Martin and Corvette were fighting out a twin-bladed duel that could still go any one of four ways. Any one of the top three contenders, the #009 Aston Martin and either of the two Corvettes, was still in with a chance of victory, but the #007 Aston was still close enough to be in with a chance, and so was the #72 Luc Alphand Corvette. In terms of overall positions, these five were also in direct contention with RML’s MG, but so long as the prototype continued to perform, there should have been no real contest. When the #009 Aston hit clutch problems at just after two, the #64 Corvette moved into the lead of GT1, but with Andy circulating in the three-fifties or better (typically five to eight seconds quicker than these GT1 cars) he was rapidly closing on the Alphand car.

Along the longer straights Andy was probably within sight of the blue and yellow ‘Vette, but would be denied the pleasure of passing for eighth place by the need to stop for fuel. It would mark the end of his double stint. At 2:15 he was back down the pitlane, and Mike Newton was ready to take his place. After nearly two hours without any recurrence of the earlier mechanical maladies, it was just Mike’s misfortune to be in the car when the next one struck, at half-past two. On the one hand, it was easily fixed, and the cost in time was a mere seven minutes, but out on track the Modena DBR9 had moved through into ninth, knocking the MG back to tenth overall. The two cars would remain on the same lap for the next hour, marking 316 laps at ten past three.

For the past thirty years the ACO, in association with ESCRA, has awarded a prize to the four mechanics who have, in the opinion of the ACO, demonstrated the “best technical assistance” during the course of the 24 Hours. The 31st recipients of this prize, which includes an elegant silver trophy to each of the four, were none other than Vince Mitchell, Rick Perry, Adam Hughes and Paul Smallcorn. In a brief televised ceremony staged in the RML garage at half-three a delegation from ESCRA and the ACO arrived to present the award. Notably, the bottles of champagne were swiftly whisked away for a later, more appropriate moment! Although quick to point out that they were part of a much larger team, the contribution of these four towards keeping the #25 RML MG on track has been extraordinary. Despite many hours without sleep while the car ran faultlessly during the earlier periods of the race, they reacted instinctively and without hesitation when problems struck, repairing and rebuilding to an exceptional standard, and rewarding the team’s drivers with a car that handled perfectly and inspired confidence. They could not have been expected to do more, although there’s little doubt that, had they been asked, they’d have found the reserves to do so. Great credit to them, and all the guys in the team, for a fabulous job, expertly done, and with good spirit and humour.

The timing of the presentation was perfect, coming just after the last pitstop for Andy Wallace, who had handed the car back to Tommy for the Brazilian’s final stint. It gave everyone time to share the congratulations and then recompose themselves for the last ninety minutes of the race. The final hours in the Le Mans 24 take on an almost other-worldly feel, and it is sometimes difficult to balance the sense that the race is nearing its conclusion with the fact that more time remains than is often assigned for a complete “endurance” race in other series. The cars continue to drone round the circuit, many still posting very respectable times, but others clearly nursing problems or desperately trying to coax an ailment through the final miles. Thankfully RML’s AER engine continued hum with metronomic reliability, and Tommy was setting some of the fastest times of any car still racing, including most of the leading LMP1 contenders. Although the MG enjoyed a massive lead over the Miracle Courage, there was still that desire to move back up the overall order, and with three cars on the same lap, the chances were good.

If the MG’s lead in LMP 2 was generous, the same could not be said for Miracle’s hold on second. After hours of dependable if unspectacular running, the red and black car was coming under considerable pressure from the much faster but occasionally troubled Binnie Motorsports Lola #24. It was a battle that would eventually fall the way of the Lola, but was in doubt all the way to the flag. Like the battles for the lead in GT1 and GT2, it gave the massive crowd of some 235,000 spectators something to follow, since the race for the overall lead had settled into a trough of silver-edged predictability.

With the drivers single-stinting to the end, it would be Mike Newton who would have the honour, and enjoy the pride, of taking the chequered flag in 2006. Last year he had stood on the concrete pit wall and displayed his delight to the world. He seemed a little relieved to think that he’d be able to enjoy the moment this year from within the relative anonymity of a racing helmet. He was pulling that over his head as the #009 Aston Martin, for so long the leader in GT1, left the pits after its clutch change. Following hours with the promise of victory smelling sweet in their nostrils, the car’s drivers would now be making up the numbers, but at least they’d be finishing the race. To many that alone is a significant achievement, and something twenty-five out of the fifty starters wouldn’t survive to enjoy. For the first time in several years the race was not affected by rain, but the constant searing heat took its toll, and the number of shuttered garages at the close reflected the high rate of attrition in the 74th running of the Vingt Quatre Heures.

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Finish (4:00pm-5:00pm)

At a little after four-ten, Mike Newton set off up the rise towards the Dunlop Bridge. For the next fifty minutes he and the car simply had to maintain a steady pace. The MG’s lead stood at seventeen laps, which was more than the second-placed Lola #24 could physically cover in the time remaining. That meant the victory was assured, providing the car kept going. In order to be classified, a car must not only cover 70% of the total number of laps completed by the winning car, but must also take the chequered flag under its own power. The pressure was still on! Elsewhere in the pitlane, cars that had been hidden away, some for several hours, started coming back to life for that very reason. The #22 Radical had been nursing a cracked cylinder head since the early morning, aided by generous doses of Radweld, and kept emerging from time to time to add a few more laps to its total. It now barked back into life and sped off towards the track. The #19 LMP1 Chamberlain Synergy Lola had serious gearbox problems, but somehow the ingenious Hugh Chamberlain had managed to contrive a way of offering his drivers at least one gear that worked, and it too emerged from the shadows. The yellow car would end up being the last car classified, 113 laps behind the winners.

While Mike and the MG continued to speed round the 13.5 kilometer circuit, the activity in the garage turned towards packing up. With the falling of the chequered flag, the crowds would be released from the stands, and descend upon the pitlane like t-shirted vultures, seeking souvenirs and other tasty pickings. It has become a necessary tradition that teams start to dismantle their pitwall awnings, signalling boards and other equipment in good time for the finish. A favoured grab by the bounty-hunters is the panel above the garage door that proclaims the team name, car type and number. Vince was sent up a set of steps to perch on the top rung and snip the tiewraps to release RML’s. Others were not so quick, and at least three were later seen being run out of the pitlane.

As five o’clock approached the cars still running started to clique together in small groups; the two Audi R10s to create the perfect photo finish, with smaller fry lingering in the background hoping to be a part of that sure-to-be-famous picture. The two Corvettes paired up, as did the Pescarolos, one heading for second place overall. Mike was on his own, and this seemed more appropriate somehow. The reverse clock on the gantry ticked down, and at two minutes to five the two Audis went through the valley of grandstands for the very last time. Their last lap would also be the slowest of their race, but they would achieve that photograph Audi wanted and make motor racing history. When the #8, driven by Biela, Pirro and Werner took the flag at 5:04, it would be as the first diesel-engined car ever to win the Le Mans 24 Hours. Second was the #17 Pescarolo C60, driven by Helary, Montagny and Loeb, and third the #7 Audi of Kristensen, McNish and Capello.

Fourth overall, and winning GT2, was the Corvette of Gavin, Beretta and Magnussen, with the second Pescarolo recovering to fifth, the first of the works Aston Martins sixth, the Luc Alphand Corvette seventh and, crossing the line in splendid and richly deserved isolation in eight place, Mike Newton in the RML MG Lola EX264. A mere eight seconds behind him, and racing all the way, was the Russian Age Team Modena Aston Martin in ninth. On the pit wall to welcome him home were Mike’s co-drivers and all the RML squad. It was an emotional moment for everyone – not only because the team had repeated the class win of 2006, but also because they’d done it from the front. The MG led LMP2 for all but a small handful of laps, and the category effectively threw off its reputation for being fast but fragile. Still fast, the MG also proved itself rugged and, on the whole, reliable. Including regular pitstops, the MG had spent just one hour, thirty-six minutes in the pits, which compares favourably with the thirty-nine minutes total spent in the pits by the winning Corvette, the least of any car in the race.

As the final car crossed the line the hordes were released from behind the fencing, moving in a seething swathe across the track. For the second year running Mike and Tommy would stand on the top step of the podium in the most famous motor race in the world. Sharing their jubilation this time would be a man who’s also known that experience more than once before; Andy Wallace. Joining the three drivers would be Phil Barker, the team manager and mastermind behind RML’s race strategy; Ray Mallock, team owner, and Adam Wiseberg, Motorsport Director of AD Holdings. Their ceremony came come after the LMP1 winners had been presented with trophies and champagne, an opportunity for Bruno Vendestick to build up the big occasion in his inimitable style. A massive crowd of nearly 80,000 had filled the pitlane and adjacent track to witness the presentations, and a huge cheer went up when the RML squad stepped out onto the platform to receive their trophies. The support for the MG has been particularly noticeable this year, and enormously appreciated by the drivers especially.

A lengthy press conference for the Audi and Pescarolo teams meant that the race had been over for much more than an hour before Mike, Tommy and Andy sat down in front of the microphones. David Waldron, the ACO’s English language commentator, introduced the trio, and asked the questions. Had this year’s win been easier than last year? Mike reckoned that it was never easy to win at Le Mans, but this year the team had done it from the front, and finished in the top ten. Did Tommy think the change to the AER engine had been a risk? Everything in motorsport was a calculated risk, came the reply, but why ask the driver? “I don’t make decisions like that,” said Tommy. For Andy, how did winning LMP2 compare with victory outright for Jaguar in 1988? Andy admitted that he would not have come back to Le Mans unless he could drive for a team with a realistic chance of winning. He’d not been offered the chance to drive with Audi or Pescarolo, so when the invitation came to drive the RML MG, he was delighted to accept. “RML is a fantastic team, and we’ve had a fairytale result,” he said.

With all the podium teams from GT1 and GT2 sharing the conference, it was almost seven o’clock before the three RML drivers could be released and hurry across to the AD hospitality suite above the garage, where the rest of the team, plus assembled guests, had been waiting to congratulate the drivers and their mechanics. Martin Haven, the voice of Motors TV, introduced the three, and embarked on a lengthy but fascinating interview, asking appropriate and incisive questions about the last 24 hours. I would be some time before the team could escape to the relative privacy of their own celebrations – for a job well done, and a mission completed. Winning Le Mans in 2005 was a remarkable achievement for RML and the MG Lola. To do so for two years in succession is tribute to the quality of their work and their dedication to the sports prototype programme.

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Marcus Potts