Return to Home Page The latest news from AD Motorsport and RML Race Reports and Galleries Team History and Personnel Driver Profiles Media Information and Log-in Useful Links Team sponsors and how to become one Merchandise and Downloads
Visit the Lola website

RML AD Group's sports prototype programme entered a new era in late 2008, with confirmation on 6th November that the team had signed a new two-year deal with the Japanese car manufacturer Mazda for the supply of engines.

The announcement (reported here) brought to a close a six-year relationship with the iconic British marque, MG, but heralded an exciting new phase for what is already one of the longest-lasting partnerships in motor racing.

The personnel at the heart of the programme have remained essentially the same since the red, white and blue Lola first took to the track in November 2003. These include not only the two drivers; Mike Newton, CEO of AD Group, and Thomas Erdos, but also Team Manager Phil Barker and more than half the engineers and mechanics in the squad today.

If the faces have remained more or less constant, the cars they've worked on have not. Evolution and development have enabled Mike and Tommy to remain at the forefront of LMP2 competition, and the current steed in the stable is no exception.

Based on the latest Lola chassis, the RML Lola Mazda embodied all the most up-to-date developments in aerodynamics, composite technology and chassis design, but with the added benefit of knowledge gleaned from six highly-successful years in endurance motorsport. RML has all the technical abilities and resources to carry out extensive independent development, as befits a company that has designed and created cars of its own from the ground up, such as the Saleen S7, and has engineered major racing programmes for leading manufacturers such as Chevrolet, Mercedes, Vauxhall, Honda and Aston Martin.

The expertise and understanding that brought two back-to-back class victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours were applied to the RML Lola Mazda, and many of the refinements that gave the MGs their reliability and superlative handling have been carried over to the new car. These included specific components intended to help the car and its drivers cope with endurance events of six, ten or twenty-four hour duration, including reserve alternators and starter motors, mechanical gearchange back-up to the sophisticated steering-wheel mounted paddle-shift installation, advanced on-board telemetry, live-feed video monitoring equipment, and several instances of dual and tandem electronic and other essential systems.

As the old adage goes; to finish first, first one has to finish, and the emphasis at RML is shared equally between speed and performance on the one hand, and longevity and reliability on the other.

The current RML chassis first saw competition in September 2008, badged as the last-ever MG racing car, the EX265C. Only a few days after its initial roll-out at Snetterton, the new car finished fourth in class in the Silverstone 1000 Kilometres. It would be the first and only time that the EX265C would race in earnest. Six weeks later the news was confirmed that RML's new coupé would move forward into 2009 with a Mazda engine.

The unit under the engine cover is a two-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder unit developed jointly by Mazda and Advanced Engine Research, AER. The immediate benefits of this unit to RML were its size - it has similar proportions to the former MG XP-21 unit, although it is even more compact - and the fact that, unlike the XP-21, the Mazda MZR-R is in the early stages of development. This means it offers greater scope for refinement and enhanced performance over the coming seasons. Furthermore, the AER support personnel that have worked with RML since 2006 remain the same, perpetuating an excellent working relationship.

When first delivered to RML, the chassis was designated a B08/80. However, concurrent with the installation of the new Mazda engine, the car also benefited from the implementation of the full 2009 specification aerodynamic package and revised bodywork. This had been developed by Lola in Huntingdon in response to changes in the racing regulations between 2008 and 2009, including the reduction in width of the rear wing. As a result the car is now officially designated as a Lola Mazda B09/86, the eighty-six being used by Lola to identify any Mazda-powered chassis.

Mazda MZR-R 2.0 litre, turbocharged four-cylinder
Approximately 500bhp through 1 x 40.6mm restrictor
Top speed
In excess of 200mph
6-speed semi-automatic sequential via paddle-shift
Carbon, pull type
Aluminium water radiators and oil coolers
One piece carbon fibre monocoque
Power assisted rack-and-pinion
Fabricated steel double wishbones
355mm x 32mm front and rear, Carbon fibre discs, carbon fibre pads
Forged Magnesium Fronts 18"x12.5J, Rears 18"x13J
Michelin. Fronts 300/650-18, Rears 310/710-18
Length, 4534mm; Width, 1990mm; Wheelbase, 2790mm
Weight Minimum 825 kgs
Fuel, 80 litres, Oil (dry sump) 10 litres

These specifications are subject to change and were correct for the B09/86 as of April 2009