Even before their HPD ARX-01d hits the track at Le Mans RML have already won one race – the one to get ready in time for the race at all.
The British team's preparation for this weekend's 79th running the legendary endurance race was brought to a shuddering halt by a crash in practice for the Le Mans Series race at Spa-Francorchamps. The accident forced the team to withdraw from the race – traditionally used by teams as a dress rehearsal for Le Mans itself – in order to begin the work for Le Mans early.
The tub – an ex-De Ferran Motorsports example – was damaged in Mike Newton's Spa shunt, so a new chassis (formally an Andretti Green tub) had to be flown in from America arriving only a week before the car was due to begin its journey to the Circuit de la Sarthe.
Not only was the car prepared in time to make the journey, but also in time for a last minute shakedown test at Snetterton. The 250km covered proved that not only ensured everything was technically sound with the machinery, but that Newton was happily unaffected by the Spa accident.
As for the past six year in LMP class machinery Newton is driving along Tommy Erdos, but new to the team for this year's Le Mans in Ben Collins. Collins, undoubtedly known for his eight year sting as The Stig on Top Gear, raced with the team at Silverstone last year, but now returns to Le Mans for the first time since the 2002 race.
The first qualifying session for the race starts at 9pm UK time on Wednesday June 8, with a second session at the same time on Thursday. The best times from across the two days will organise the 56 entered cars into the grid for the race, which starts at 2pm UK time on Saturday June 11.