RML TO MAKE SPORTSCAR RETURN WITH LMP3 ASSAULT
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