The mid-season break proved to be a productive one for the Lancashire-based squad as it added former Le Mans 24 Hours winner Warren Hughes to its line-up alongside regular drivers Barry Gates and Rob Garofall, and also confirmed famous British car brand MG Motor UK as an official sponsor.
Almost a year ago exactly to the day of the race at Silverstone Team RLR was competing in only its second ever outing in the Le Mans Series at the Northamptonshire circuit.
With the addition of high profile names like Hughes and MG to its banner the LMP2 class outfit has underlined just how far it has progressed in the space of 12 months and its determination to grown into a force to be reckoned with in the future.
However, no member of Team RLR is underestimating the scale of the challenge they will face around the 5.9km and 18 turns that make up the Grand Prix Circuit at the home of British motorsport.
Doubling as an Intercontinental Le Mans Cup round the event will see 53 confirmed entries vying for glory across five classes, with Team RLR up against 10 world-class rivals in the ultra-competitive LMP2 category.
Team RLR will also be looking to bounce back from the disappointment of a DNF at the previous LMS round in Imola, where a technical issue stopped the squad’s challenge dead in its tracks on just the second lap.
However, with a recent testing session at Snetterton providing useful setup data should the weather play a part and the experience and pace of Hughes added to the consistency of Gates and Garofall, team principal Nick Reynolds believes both the MG Lola EX265 and his drivers have what it takes to shine on the big stage and add to the two top-five LMP2 class finishes already chalked up earlier this season.
Nick Reynolds, Team RLR team principal, said: “Silverstone is a crucial event for us and we’ve been working very hard to prepare for it. We want to bounce back from the last round at Imola by securing a really strong result in front of our home crowd. It’s a fantastic place to go racing Silverstone, even more so with the addition of the new Silverstone Wing complex, and we’re looking forward to having all of our guests and fans of the team there supporting us. We’ll be up against some of the world’s top endurance racing drivers and teams, but it’s another chance to show we mean business and prove ourselves against the very best.”
Warren Hughes, Team RLR driver, said: “I’m really looking forward to being back in action with Team RLR. I’m not sure what the weather will be like but I was impressed with how good the MG Lola was to drive in the wet during our recent test at Snetterton, so it shouldn’t be a problem if it does rain. With only testing to go on though I’m not sure how close to the pace of the class leaders we’ll be at Silverstone. Only once we’ve been out on track in practice and qualifying will we be able to judge that and settle our strategy. As long as we can stay trouble free anything can happen and a podium is not out of the question if things go our way. It would be nice to do that on home turf and then look to finish the season on a high at the final race in Estoril.”
Barry Gates, Team RLR driver, said: “The whole team is looking forward to this event. We were a bit disappointed coming away from Imola as that had been the one hiccup in the season so far. Having managed to bring Warren Hughes back into the team is a big boost as he’s a very quick and experienced driver. We’re all excited about going to Silverstone and looking to achieve a good result on home soil. Last year at Silverstone we missed out on a decent finish close to the end of the race, so we want to put that right as we have moved on a long way since then as a team and should now be considered as serious competitors.”
Rob Garofall, Team RLR driver, said: “Silverstone is our home round and to be racing there in such a high profile event under the banner of MG is extra special from a driver’s point of view. We were within touching distance of a good result at Silverstone last season, so we know we can go there and pose a serious challenge and be somewhere near the front of our class if everything comes together. As a racing driver my aim was always to be competing in a big championship like this and it’s a real privilege to be going to Silverstone with a great team of guys and a fantastic car to try and compete against some top opposition. I’m really looking forward to seeing all our guests and fans there to support us in what should be a superb event.”
Click here to buy your new Team RLR official merchandise for Silverstone.
Autosport 6 Hours of Silverstone Schedule
Friday, September 9
13:15-14:15 Le Mans Series Free Practice 1
17:00-18:00 Le Mans Series Free Practice 2
Saturday, September 10 0
9:00-10:00 Le Mans Series Free Practice 3
14:05-14:25 Le Mans Series Qualifying (LMP1 & LMP2)
Sunday, September 11
09:00-09:20 Le Mans Series Warm-Up
11:35-17:35 Le Mans Series Race
Watch the Autosport 6 Hours of Silverstone live on British Eurosport on Sunday, September 11.
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