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Le Mans Series 2007
Championship Press Release
Issued November 16th 2007

Newton and Erdos LMP2 Champions 2007

The waiting is finally over. When the chequered flag fell at the end of this season’s final round of the Le Mans Series at Interlagos in Brazil last Saturday evening, RML’s Mike Newton and Thomas Erdos could at last be honoured as LMP2 Champions 2007.

Not until the running of the 1000-mile event on November 10th could confirmation be made of the final points standings for the year. With 36 points, Newton and Erdos take the title by six points from the Quifel ASM Lola trio of Miguel Amaral, Angel Burgueno and Miguel de Castro. A win at Interlagos gave the Barazi Epsilon squad of Juan Barazi, Karim Ojeh and Michael Vergers third in the championship with 25 points each, narrowly snatching the position from the absent Saulnier Racing drivers.

AD Group RML had taken the decision not to attend the distant sixth and final race in Brazil in mid-September, immediately after the Silverstone round. It was a choice shared by all but three of the regular LMP2 competitors in the Le Mans Series. Only the drivers from the Quifel ASM squad could catch Mike Newton and Thomas Erdos, but with neither team able to attend the Brazilian event, the title was effectively decided.

It is third time lucky for Newton and Erdos. For the past three seasons they have dominated the LMP2 category, winning the class in the Le Mans 24 Hours twice but narrowly missing the Le Mans Series title in both 2005 and 2006 by a single point. This year they continued to set the pace, winning at Nurburgring and Spa and finishing a close second at Monza. Their victory at Spa also saw the RML MG Lola third overall – the first time in Europe that an LMP2 competitor has finished on the outright podium. “I’m really delighted that we’ve finally managed to secure the title at the third attempt,” said Mike Newton, CEO of CCTV giant, AD Group, the principal sponsor of RML's sportscar programme. “We’ve been so close for the past two years, and this goes a long way towards making up for the disappointment of missing out on the hat-trick at Le Mans.

Although characteristically modest about his own contribution, Brazilian Thomas Erdos was elated to be confirmed as champion. “We’ve been knocking on the door of this title for three years, since the very beginning of the series, and I think we truly deserved to win. Several of the other cars were very quick this year, but we had the consistency of pace and we out-ran them all. Knowing that we took more wins against a full field of competitors than anyone else makes the title even more satisfying."

Racing against an increasingly competitive line-up, Newton and Erdos took advantage of AD Group video technology in the form of the X-PRO Digital Imaging Recorder to squeeze every last millisecond of performance out of the car and both drivers. Installed aboard the MG Lola, the system complements the conventional vehicle telemetry to allow detailed analysis of driver performance and engine data, and the strategy has clearly paid off.

Ray Mallock, founder and Chief Executive of RML Group, said: "This is a huge achievement for the team and for RML Group as a whole. Under Phil Barker, our Race Team Director, we have now enjoyed major success in each of the past three seasons, with back-to-back victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2005 and 2006, and now the Le Mans Series LMP2 championship itself.” Over the years RML has been at the forefront of world motorsport and has won titles in many categories. The company has not only prepared race cars for some of the biggest names in manufacturing, including Vauxhall, Chevrolet, Aston Martin, Nissan and Mercedes, but has also designed cars from the ground up, including this year’s championship-winning Saleen S7R, GT1 title-winner in the Le Mans Series for Team Oreca.

By taking the title, AD Group RML is assured of an automatic entry to the 2008 Le Mans 24 Hours, where the squad will be hoping to repeat their successes of 2005 and 2006.

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