Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Bri­tish con­struc­tor RML will re­turn to sportscar rac­ing for the first time in six years next sea­son af­ter part­ner­ing with Mectech Mo­tor­sport for a dual cam­paign in the Euro­pean Le Mans Se­ries and Bri­tish Pro­to­type Cup.

RML (Ray Mal­lock Lim­ited) has taken de­liv­ery of its first Ligier JS P3 LMP3 chas­sis and will field Mectech Rad­i­cal driv­ers Bradley Smith and Evgeny Klyucharev for a full sea­son of ELMS next year, and plans to also dove­tail that pro­gramme with mul­ti­ple cars in the new Pro­to­type Cup class.

The deal marks the first time RML has en­tered a tra­di­tional cat­e­gory of sportscar rac­ing since 2011. The squad has won sev­eral ELMS LMP2 ti­tles, in­clud­ing in 2007 and its last full term in 2010. It has also fielded works Le Mans pro­grammes for brands such as As­ton Martin, MG and more re­cently Nis­san, where it de­vel­oped the ZEOD Garage 56 en­try in 2014. It has also won nu­mer­ous FIA World Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship ti­tles with Chevro­let.

RML’S com­mer­cial direc­tor Si­mon Hol­loway told Mo­tor­sport News: “We’ve been watch­ing the growth of LMP3 closely in re­cent sea­sons and it’s ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a real boom at the mo­ment, and next year it’ll be even big­ger.

“I’ve known Bradley [Smith] and the Mectech team since kart­ing and this seemed like a per­fect chance for us to go back to sportscars as we have a proven car al­ready in the Ligier and two strong driv­ers.

“For us it will be a toe back into ELMS, and may lead us back to LMP2 in the fu­ture also, but for now LMP3 is the chal­lenge.

“The Pro­to­type Cup is also firmly in our plans as it’s a great step­ping-stone. Driv­ers have to learn the skills needed in pro­to­type rac­ing, and the Bri­tish se­ries al­lows them to race with other cars with­out the stresses, pres­sures and bud­gets of the Euro­pean cham­pi­onship.

“The two cal­en­dars don’t clash so the plan is to run the same cars in both se­ries. We’ve al­ready got in­ter­est for a sec­ond car also, so hope­fully we can se­cure enough ELMS en­tries. We’re also hop­ing to do the Road to Le Mans race [which sup­ports the 24 Hours in June].”

Mectech head Mike smith added: “RML’S am­bi­tions and our own fit per­fectly for next year. We’ve won three Rad­i­cal ti­tles on the trot as a team, so LMP3 is the nat­u­ral next step to ex­pand into.

“It’s great to work with RML as we’ll pool re­sources and en­gi­neers and it al­lows us to cre­ate a lad­der for both driv­ers and staff to progress to a very high level of sportscar rac­ing and Le Mans.”

Pho­tos: Richard Styles, Jakob Ebrey, Fresh Or­ange Pho­tog­ra­phy, LAT Mectech man Smith will race Ligier

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