Over the weekend, entrepreneur and long-time racing driver Mike Newton, who is CEO of CCTV specialist AD Group – the parent company of Dedicated Micros, secured an impressive victory in the tough six-hour Algarve 1000 km, nighttime, Le Mans Series endurance race alongside Brazilian Tommy Erdos and newly signed
co-driver Ben Collins for the RML AD Group team.
The win in Portugal behind the wheel of the #25 Lola HPD racecar, with its new Honda Performance Development (HPD) engine, places Newton and his teammates in pole position for the hard-fought Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) title – a full race-win clear of the competition – and follows on from second and third place
finishes in the opening two rounds of the Le Mans Series.
Early on it was obvious that Newton and the team would have a fight on their hands in the Algarve 1000 km. The three sessions of Free Practice suggested that RML AD Group’s Lola HPD was going to struggle to compete with the main opposition, Strakka Racing’s HPD ARX, at least in terms of outright pace. A pivotal moment came when RML Team Manager Phil Barker revised the race strategy and sent Newton’s co-driver Thomas Erdos out on hard compound tyres for Saturday morning qualifying, knowing that the car would have to start the six-hour race on the same set. Confident of being able to double-stint the Dunlop compounds,
his tactics paid dividends, saving as much as forty seconds with each fuel-only pitstop.
“It’s been a tough race, what with the heat and the demands of this circuit, and it was always likely to be incident prone,” said Mike Newton, CEO of AD Group, who drove the mid-race stints. “We had a few minor problems, but the team performed brilliantly to have us back out and racing as quickly as possible every time. We have a great package with Lola, HPD and Dunlop, and came here leading the championship by just one point, but this win now places us in a very strong position for the Series."
Ben Collins, who won the 2003 ASCAR title with RML, was delighted to be back with his old team. “It’s great to turn up half way through the year, after Mike, Tommy and the rest of the team have done all the hard work, and then share this win with them,” he said.
Said Pauline Norstrom, Motorsport & Marketing Director of AD Group: “We’ve been close so many times before, leading races in 2009, only to see it all fall apart, but not this time. We hope this tide of change is here to stay. The win, which was played out in front of AD Group’s security industry guests, was down
to excellent race strategy from the team and the reliability of the new HPD engine package. The RML AD Group team are competing here to win, and this result is fantastic on all fronts. In terms of the championship, it also puts us a full maximum-points win ahead for the next race in Hungary. The win created an excellent synergy for our 40 or so guests at the event to appreciate between engineering excellence and team work – which are key philosophies of AD Group.”
As well as sponsoring the racing on the track, the five-round Le Mans Series provides AD Group and the company’s subsidiaries with an invaluable opportunity to offer corporate hospitality to key customers, including a full business conference followed by garage and pitlane tours and driver Q&A sessions at the
track. Guests in attendance for the Algarve 1000 km were able to see the latest CCTV innovations, whether that be Dedicated Micros’ award-winning Closed IP TV system or AD Network Video – the enterprise video arm for the Group, and to have hands-on experience of the products in a comprehensively equipped demo
AD Group’s CCTV technology is also playing a vital role in the #25 Lola HPD racecar through a motorsport variant of the award-winning TransVu DVR (Digital Video Recorder) – the RML X-PRO Recorder. This is able to deliver dramatic in-car images linked to all-important telemetry data, to assist the drivers in improving their performance. Product demonstration footage from previous races can be found on AD Group’s YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/anglodesigngroup .
For more information on AD Group please visit www.ad-group.co.uk. To keep up-to-date with the RML AD Group team’s campaign to secure the Le Mans Series LMP2 title log on to: www.rml-adgroup.com .