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RML AD Group Lola B08/80 HPD (2010)

After four years of turbocharged power, the RML AD Group's Lola returned to a naturally aspirated engine installation for 2010 and a new partnership with Honda Performance Development Inc (HPD). This was a significant move for the team, but one that harked back to the MG Lola of 2005, and the team's first class win at Le Mans with the EX264, powered by a Judd V8.

RML AD Group Lola B08/80 HPDAlthough the name of HPD is not widely recognised - certainly not in Europe - Honda Performance Development is Honda's racing company within North America, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Founded in 1993, HPD has a history and reputation for producing excellent racing engines, and is the statutory engine supplier for the IndyCar Series in America.

In more recent seasons, however, HPD has become closely associated with sportscar racing through the development of the highly successful Acura sports prototypes. These LMP1 and LMP2 chassis, powered by HPD LM-V8 units, have largely dominated petrol-powered competition in the American Le Mans Series since they were introduced in 2007. Although RML's interest rest solely with the naturally aspirated 3.4 litre LM-V8, much of that engine's reputation is built upon the success of the Acura ARX chassis. Developed in partnership with Wirth Research in the UK, the ARX-01a (LMP2) won first-time-out in the 2007 Sebring 12 Hours, and the two-car squad went on to collect ten podiums that debut season.

In 2008, the Acura was the only chassis capable of competing on equal terms with the all-dominant Porsche Spyder, and missed the ALMS title by a single point. That shortfall was rectified in 2009, when the Fernandez Racing ARX-01b swept the board in LMP2, recording seven pole positions and eight wins from ten starts, finishing on the podium in every race and securing both the team and drivers' titles.

RML AD Group Lola B08/80 HPDIt is reliability of that nature which convinced RML AD Group that the HPD LM-V8 was the right engine to carry the team forwards into an eighth season of sports prototype competition, but the link between HPD and Lola is not a new one. Much of the original development work on the LMP engine was carried out in association with Lowe’s Fernandez Racing in 2007, when the HPD LM-V8 was first run in a Lola B05/40 very similar to RML's open-topped MG Lola EX265.

Three years later and the story moved full circle as RML AD Group's B08/80 chassis became the first coupé to benefit from HPD's motive power. First impressions, following tests at Silverstone and at the Paul Ricard HTTT in southern France, proved enormously encouraging, and the went on to fulfil the early promise. Mike, Tommy and "third" drivers for 2010 Andy Wallace and Ben Collins went on to enjoy success in the Le Mans Series and in the 24 Hours. Further details on the appointment of HPD as 2010 engine supplier to RML AD Group can be found in the dedicated press release here.

RML AD Group Lola B08/80 HPD

Externally, there are few visible signs of change to the Lola Coupé that made its debut in the Silverstone 6 Hours of late 2008. The car returned to the dark blue, red and white livery that graced the car during that race - it's last as an MG - but gone is the snorkel-shaped air scoop that stood on the engine cover to the rear of the cockpit. It its place the car now displays the rooftop air inlet that is such a characteristic of the naturally aspirated installations. There were also subtle changes to the rear bodywork, in common with all other Lolas of this type, in keeping with regulation changes imposed for the 2010 season.

Less noticeable, but equally significant, was the move to Dunlop rubber for 2010. RML has an excellent history of cooperation with Dunlop, and many of the company's early successes were achieved on Dunlop rubber. Additional details are provided by the press announcement here, while an explanation of the only other new logo to appear on the team's livery in 2010, the Vulcan to the Sky Trust emblem, is given here.

RML AD Group Lola B08/80 HPD

RML AD Group racing with Lola

Designation Lola-HPD B08/80 Coupé
Honda Performance Development (HPD) LM-V8
3.4 litre, aluminium block,
eight-cylinder, fuel injected, naturally aspirated.
Approximately 480bhp through one x 41.2mm restrictor
Top speed
In excess of 200mph
6-speed semi-automatic sequential via paddle-shift
Carbon, pull type
Fuel Petrol
(Biofuel, with 10% ethanol)
Aluminium water radiators and oil coolers
One piece carbon fibre monocoque
Power assisted rack-and-pinion
Fabricated steel double wishbones
355mm x 32mm front and rear, Carbon fibre discs, carbon fibre pads
Forged Magnesium Fronts 18"x12.5J, Rears 18"x13J
Dunlop. Fronts 300/650-18, Rears 310/710-18
Length, 4534mm; Width, 1990mm; Wheelbase, 2790mm
Weight Minimum 825 kgs
Fuel, 80 litres
Oil (dry sump) 10 litres


RML AD Group racing with Lola




RML AD Group racing with Lola



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