Ben Collins, the man formally known as The Stig from the hit TV show Top Gear
has secured a deal to compete in the Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours with the RML team.
Collins competed in three LMS events for the British team last season and helped RML to secure the LMP2 championship title and will now join Thomas Erdos and Mike Newton at the wheel of a new HPD ARX-01d, which will replace the Lola Coupe used in recent seasons.
“I'm delighted to be returning to RML AD Group for a second season, and it means a lot to me personally to be driving with Mike Newton and Tommy Erdos,” Collins said. “Racing in the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours with RML, and in the stunning HPD ARX, will be a defining moment in my career. We saw how good the HPD was last season in the hands of our competitors, and it was a credit to RML that we beat them to the title.
“Honda Performance Development has a stellar racing spirit and I'm sure the new V6 turbo engine will be as fast and reliable as anything else out there. The 24-hour race tests everyone's resolve to the limit and I believe the team has the right partner. I just can't wait to whistle along Mulsanne and feel the breeze, bugs, rain and everything else that Le Mans throws at you in an open-top car.
The decision to switch to the HPD chassis that carried Strakka Racing to the LMP2 win at Le Mans and which helped Highcroft Racing secure the American Le Mans Series crown ends an eight year relationship with Lola which saw RML win the LMP2 class at Le Mans on two occasions alongside double championship success in the Le Mans Series.
“This has been an enormously difficult decision for us,” team manager Phil Barker said. “We have had an excellent relationship with Lola for many years and we are saddened to be leaving such good friends. However, we will also be renewing our relationship with HPD after a very successful first season with them as engine suppliers in 2010.”