Le Mans 2008 -
Celebrating 50 Years of Lola at Le Mans. May 29th 2008
50th Anniversary celebrated with RML AD Group MG Lola EX265
Automotive, a voluntary organisation with a passion for
the Le Mans 24 Hours, has organised a “Grande Parade
des Pilotes” through the centre of Le Mans on the
Friday preceding the start of the Vingt Quatre Heures for
the past fourteen years. In 2008 they are marking the 50th
Anniversary of the founding of Lola Cars by using images
of the RML AD Group MG Lola EX265 to illustrate the official
poster for the event. The poster was unveiled on Monday
May 23rd, and will be displayed prominently throughout the
Sarthe region for the next four weeks.
Parade is now one of the highlights of the build-up to the
Le Mans 24 Hours, and this year takes place on Friday 13th
June, starting at 6:00pm. For two hours or more the heart
of the historic city of Le Mans will be packed with tens
of thousands of spectators, each eager to catch a glimpse
of the drivers who will be participating in the weekend’s
endurance race. Carried through the streets in a glorious
selection of vintage and classic cars, including the Lola
T70 MkIIIB that Masten Gregory and Jo Bonnier raced at Le
Mans in 1969, the drivers will be the main attraction in
a colourful, noisy and highly animated procession that will
also include an impressive collection of exotic supercars,
dancers, jugglers and marching bands.
very first sportscar emerged from the Lola workshops in
1958, and over the years the Huntingdon-based manufacturer
has been responsible for creating not only some of the most
successful, but also many of the most graceful and innovative
cars ever to compete on the racetrack. Lola first appeared
at Le Mans in 1960 with a Coventry Climax engined Mk1 Lola.
Since then many Lola built sportscars have raced in the
24 Hours, notably the classic T70 MkIIIB and a host of 2-litre
designs throughout the 1970’s.
the last three years the LMP2 category in the Le Mans 24
Hours has been won by Lola-designed chassis, with the RML
AD Group MG Lola taking the class win in 2005 and 2006.
This year Lola has seven chassis participating in the Le
Mans 24 hours, comprising three LMP1 and four LMP2. It is
the company’s largest entry at Le Mans since 1979,
when a certain Ray Mallock was part of a team lead by Simon
Philips that claimed third place in the two-litre class
with a Cosworth-powered Lola T286.
poster features an image of the RML AD Group MG Lola EX265
taken during Round 2 of the 2008 Le Mans Series at Monza,
Italy (Photo: David Stephens) with the team’s three
drivers: Mike Newton, Andy Wallace and Thomas Erdos superimposed
above. Mike and Tommy are current holders of the Le Mans
Series LMP2 title, while Andy is still celebrated for his
outright Le Mans win with Jaguar in 1988. Since then he
has won more than 30 major endurance races, including the
Daytona 24 Hours, the Sebring 12 Hours, the Silverstone
4 Hours and Petit Le Mans – some of them several times.
founded by Ray Mallock, is an English automotive development
company and race preparation specialist based in Wellingborough,
Northamptonshire. In addition to preparing racecars for
manufacturers such as Vauxhall, Nissan, Aston Martin, Opel,
Mercedes and Chevrolet, RML has also designed racecars from
the ground up, such as the Saleen S7. For the past four
years RML has worked in partnership with Lola Cars to perfect
the MG EX264 and MG EX265 LMP2 sports prototypes, winning
Le Mans twice and securing the Le Mans Series LMP2 team
title in 2007.
by CEO Mike Newton, AD Group - the principal sponsor of
the MG Lola EX265 - has a long pedigree in technological
and engineering excellence as the number one innovator in
the field of video management solutions for CCTV, Surveillance
and Consumer Electronics Industries. The Group's brands
span a broad range of highly demanding applications which
range from the strict safety and performance requirements
of the Aerospace Industry through FlightVu in flight video
recorder - to MOD, Government and Public Transport through
TransVu mobile vehicle video recorders and Dedicated Micros
- the leading brand revolutionising the CCTV market with
their new robust high definition CCTV solutions. RML's X-PRO
race recorder, which is built upon AD Group's video technology,
is installed within the EX265 and is used to monitor driver
performance when coupled with the vehicle's telemetry data.
Without doubt it has contributed towards making Mike and
Tommy the slick driver line-up they are today.
AD Group congratulates Lola Cars on 50 ground-breaking years
and is pleased to be associated with such an evocative name
in British motorsport.
Lola Cars: www.lolacars.com
Ray Mallock Limited (RML): www.rmlmallock.co.uk
AD Group: www.ad-group.co.uk