RML Lola’s Three Day Test At Albacete
Both of the Lola B05/40s have completed some good running now – the RML MG-Lola EX264 version having spent three days at Albacete in Spain (March 1-2-3), with Mike Newton and Tommy Erdos at the wheel.

“The weather was difficult,” explains Tommy Erdos, “but it seems to have been difficult everywhere recently. We started out with snow on Tuesday morning – and we’ve already run it in the snow, at Silverstone!”

The image is from the original shakedown test.

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Both Erdos and Mike Newton were out running on the first afternoon, and the tone of the test was set: the Lola ran faultlessly.

dailysportscar.com“Engine, gearbox, chassis, tyres – everything worked fine. In that respect it was a great test.”

The second day saw the track wet all day, but the drivers started to learn the car, and began changing settings to see how the Lola reacted.

The MG-engined MG-Lola combination has resulted in “a very progressive, very useable, very driveable car.”

Thursday was again wet to start with, but dried out by the afternoon. Mike Newton completed a longish run before lunch, then continued in the dry after lunch, before Tommy Erdos got some dry running in too.

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“Everything we’ve done to the car has produced the expected result,” explains Erdos. “Operationally it was fantastic: we didn’t have one single issue that stopped us running. The only minor issue we had was with the gear shifting, but that was more connected to the wheel speed sensors. It’s proving to be just what we expected: a solid, very well put together car. It’s fast too.

“The whole team is very upbeat about this year. Now we’re looking forward to the Paul Ricard test. We might get out briefly before then… because we’re thinking about using the time at Ricard for a 24 hour test.”

The RML engineers will use March to make their own ‘tweaks’ and changes to the MG-Lola.

The RML Chevrolet WTCC car was also present at Albacete, but the team responsible for that one was so frustrated with the weather that they packed up on day 2 and headed off to Valencia, returning to Albacete again on Thursday.

Perhaps all this bad weather testing is exactly what’s needed before the first LMES event of the year, at Spa in mid-April. One result of the bad weather is that we won’t see a comparison between the lap times of the top LMP1 and LMP2 cars until April 1-2. That’s going to be very interesting… to compare the new LMP2s’ speed with that of the existing cars, and with the different versions of the LMP1 cars.

"I'm really looking forward to the Ricard test," concludes the Brazilian. "Then we'll really see where we are on speed."

Here are the team's 2004 and 2005 cars, side by side.

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