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23rd January 2001
MG ROVER GROUP UNLEASHES THE POTENTIAL OF MG THROUGH MOTORSPORT
MG Rover Group announces today the MG brandís return to the world of competitive motorsport.
2001 will see MG competing in sports car racing, touring car racing, rallying and the continuation of the MGF one make series.
The MG Lola sports car will compete in the LMP675 class at the Le Mans twenty four hour race in June 2001. The two-car team managed by Chamberlain Motorsport will have six drivers bringing together an exciting blend of youth and experience. The driver line-up so far is:
Julian Bailey, Anthony Reid, Warren Hughes, Kevin McGarrity and Jonny Kane.
The TOCA Tour (formerly BTCC) entry, again engineered in partnership with Lola Cars International, will be a version of the MG saloon project code named X20 entered in the BTC Touring class. West Surrey Racing (WSR) have been appointed to manage the two-car team which will see Anthony Reid and Warren Hughes at the wheel on entry into the championship later this year.
The rally entry, a version of the MG saloon project code named X30, will enter in selected rounds of the newly created F3 Super 1600 category of both the World and British Rally Championships. The car will be developed and run by GMD Motorsport, who have recruited the highly experienced international rally driver Gwyndaf Evans as lead driver.
Commenting on this extensive motorsport programme, Rob Oldaker, director product development at MG Rover Group said: "The MG brand has a great pedigree of success in motorsport. Our return to tarmac and gravel forms an integral part of our plans to re-energise the MG name, utilising the dynamic performance credentials of the product range. The work to-date has demonstrated the excellent capabilities of our MG Rover chassis' for motorsport application and the technical feedback will ensure all road-going MG's will bring to life the fun and excitement associated with the brand."
Additional notes :
- Lola Cars International, the internationally renowned race car design and development company, have formed a partnership agreement with MG Rover Group to design and engineer their entries into both Le Mans and the TOCA Tour. Both designs will capitalise on Lolaís technical expertise and state of the art test facilities at their Huntingdon base.
- West Surrey Racing is one of the best known names in motor racing. Started by Dick Bennetts in 1980, WSR dominated Formula Three throughout the 1980s, launching the careers of 12 F1 drivers including Mika Hakkinen, Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barrichello and the late Ayrton Senna. In 1996 the team turned its attention to the British Touring Car Championship running successful works outfits for both Ford and Honda.
- GMD Motorsport is a dedicated company spearheaded by Gordon Spooner, David Paveley and Baz Cannon who have a vast experience of the sport. Under their guidance, Gwyndaf Evans has won many titles including British Rally Championship success in 1996.
- Julian Bailey, the former Formula One and BTCC driver, and has won the both FIA World Sports Car Championship and British GT Championship for the last two years.
- Anthony Reid is very well known for his successful driving in the BTCC, finishing runner up in last yearís championship, as well as boasting over 15 years experience in sports car and endurance racing. Anthony is also the current holder of the 24-hour British land speed record.
- Warren Hughes, the runaway winner of the MGF Cup Championship in 1999, has been a Formula One and BTCC test driver in the past but has spent most of his career racing in Formula 3 where he has been battling it out at the front of the field.
- Kevin McGarrity is a dynamic young driver who has graduated through the ranks of karting and Formula Ford into Formula 3000 where he has continued to demonstrate his huge potential.
- Jonny Kane is another young British driver with tremendous potential. Jonny has won the championship in every formula that he has entered and, in 1999, switched to the US where, competing in the Indy Lights Championship, he secured the title of Rookie of the Year.
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