After a shakedown in somewhat arctic conditions at Snetterton earlier this month, RML was able to make the most of somewhat warmer conditions for its first intensive test of the new Lola B08/80 Coupe after hitting the track at the new Portimao circuit in Portugal.
The team booked a two-day test in the Algarve for the latest test of the Mazda-powered car in conjunction with Michelin, with a number of other teams taking the chance to also make use of track time ahead of the new season.
Tommy Erdos and Mike Newton completed nearly 200 laps during the course of the test and team manager Phil Barker said he was happy with how the session had gone.
“It's all gone exceptionally well,” he said. “We managed to fulfil virtually everything we'd had scheduled and worked on getting everything in line with the new engine and aero package. We made changes overnight on Wednesday that allowed us to work on collecting specific data for this track, and I think we've achieved a very good foundation for when we return here in August.”
The Algarve venue will host a round of the Le Mans Series later in the year and Erdos said he was impressed by the circuit after sampling it for the first time.
“Some really clever imagination has gone into the creation of the track,” he said. “The surrounding landscape is the key to the circuit's appeal. The layout reflects the style of the local roads, which are also a delight to drive! So many racetracks are flat and featureless, but this one exploits the contours of the land to create a circuit that is both physically demanding and technically complex.
“The changes in elevation are, at times, quite extreme, and will in themselves add their own element of challenge, but I believe this will be a fantastic circuit to race on, especially at night.”