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Last years MG-Lola works driver will be driving for Knighthawk Racing at Sebring in the 12 hours Endurance Race. The deal was brokered by Lola and AER to place Kane as lead driver. Sebring is one of the classics ranked alongside Daytonna and Le Mans.

Where will this leave Kane and his works outing at Le Mans. Will he be in the official team or a Knighthawk MG-Lola at Le Mans? Will know more on Thursday!

These are certainly exciting times at MGR.

Jim
 
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Will Jonny be driving for MG "Sport and Racing" at Le Mans? Tomorrow we will find out!

I suspect the team will be virtually unchanged from last year. :D

Thanks Jim for the info Jim! :D :D
 
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Jonny Kane has secured a drive for the Sebring 12 Hours in a privateer MG Lola sports prototype run by KnightHawk Racing.

The former British Formula 3 champion will join the team's joint owners Steve Knight and Mel Hawkins for the classic event which kicks off this year's American Le Mans Series on March 16.

Kane was part of the MG driver squad at the Le Mans 24 Hours last year, but he missed out on racing because his car was retired before he got the chance. But the Ulsterman's value to the MG Lola programme was emphasised when he was entrusted with the job of giving the 675 LMP car its first test at Sebring late last year when he set an unofficial track record.

"I would like to thank Steve and Mel for giving me such a great opportunity to compete in m first Sebring 12 Hours," said Kane. "Sebring is one of the most prestigious events of the year, and I'm relishing the thought of racing there in such a competitive car."

Along with his track experience in the MG Lola, Kane also knows half of Sebring from testing Indy Lights cars on the short circuit. The last time he raced was for the Team Green Lights outfit in 2000.

Knight said: "Jonny is a very qualified driver, which made the decision to offer him the third seat a very easy one. The fact that he performed so well in the MG Lola at Sebring made the decision all the more logical. We want to win this race - and having Jonny on board goes a long way towards that becoming reality."

Hawkins added that "several very good drivers" were interested in the drive, but that the team "simply could not ignore Jonny's experience."

From www.autosport.com
 
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Sebring

MG Sport and Racing's Jonny Kane blew apart the LMP 675 lap record to qualify the KnightHawk MG Lola EX257 third overall for this weekend's Sebring 12-Hour race. Kane, sharing the car with KnightHawk regulars Steve Knight and Mel Hawkins, lapped the 3.7 mile Florida circuit in 1m30.543secs, a time only beaten by the two Audi LMP 900 class sportscars which have dominated the American Le Mans Series in recent seasons.

Kane was the first of the drivers to take the MG Lola onto the track in the 25-minute long qualifying session, and went quickest in class before the session was stopped after two incidents. Once it was restarted, Kane put in his best lap, and was quickest overall at that point, with 56 cars setting representative times for the race. Although official lap records are only set in races, his lap was the fastest ever recorded by an LMP 675 car at Sebring.

Second in class was the other privateer MG Lola at Sebring, that of Intersport, which ended the session 15th overall, five seconds slower than Kane, but more than two seconds quicker than the rest of the class despite the team having little time to test with their new car.

The 50th Sebring 12-Hours race starts at 10.30am local time on Saturday morning.
 
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LEGENDARY SEBRING TESTS KNIGHTHAWK'S MG LOLA EFFORT

LEGENDARY SEBRING TESTS KNIGHTHAWK'S MG LOLA EFFORT

March 18, 2002, Road Atlanta, GA - KnightHawk Racing's #11 DNTLworks MG Lola 675 LMP, which began Saturday's 50th Anniversary Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, 1st in class and 3rd overall crossed the finish line a grueling twelve hours later 4th in class and 28th overall.

The endurance classic, which tests both man and machine, did just that with the KnightHawk team's first race test of its new MG Lola. Sebring has a long and storied history of demanding the absolute best of its challengers and will punish them every inch of the way as they try to pass one of sportscar's ultimate tests - the 12 Hours of Sebring.

The team's effort, which began with testing on Monday of race week, was first tested with the need to replace an engine. The team rose to the challenge and on the second day of testing, Tuesday, were right back turning class-leading times. These excellent times continued throughout Wednesday as well. KnightHawk passed the first test.


In qualifying on Thursday, what many thought might never happen, and as many hoped would happen, KnightHawk driver Jonny Kane placed the car first in class - and an amazing third overall. KnightHawk passed the second test.

As the green flag dropped the 50Th running of the legendary race began - the final exam. The KnightHawk MG Lola immediately continued to dominate the class - and maintain top-ten overall position - through the first three hours and the first round of driver stints - with Jonny Kane first, Steve Knight second and Andy Lally third. A run-in with a GTS class Dodge Viper caused some right rear damage that served as a catalyst for multiple trips to the pits for a series of teething problems. All in all, the car spent close to three hours off-track. The ever-punishing Sebring relentlessly tested the KnightHawk car and crew - and it appeared at times that Sebring would win. The KnightHawk effort didn't stop; the drivers did not give up, the crew repeatedly succeeded at overcoming every obstacle thrown in its path. KnightHawk finished the race fifth in class and 28th overall - but they did finish - KnightHawk passed the final.

This was the first race test of both the new MG Lola 675 LMP and the 2002 KnightHawk team. Both passed with high marks. There is no doubt as to the stunning potential of the new MG Lola - 3rd overall qualifying, fastest lap of the race, a new class track record and the continuous turning of near-qualifying times during the race - even with the multiple difficulties. The team, many of whom just came off the loss of a driver and fellow teammate at Miami, simply would not, did not, give up.

The team's driver line-up for the race; team co-owner and driver Steve Knight, Ireland's Jonny Kane and 2001 Rolex SRP II Champion Andy Lally did everything required by those that challenge the mighty Sebring - and more.

The car's potential is dramatically obvious. The crew is second-to-none. The team looks forward to its next ALMS event - California's Sears Point.

Co-Owner/Driver Steve Knight
"Boy, this race was a real challenge. We had some mechanical problems that just kept us in-and-out and in-and-out of the pits all during the race. But the car shows outstanding potential and is simply an amazing car. You can see that in the way that Jonny qualified the car third overall. My teammates Jonny and Andy drove superbly under very trying conditions. The team did an amazing job of keeping on top of the teething problems. We could have been happier with our end result, but overall I feel that it was a great race weekend and I look forward to our next event."

Co-Owner Mel Hawkins
"Given the fact that we just recently secured the MG Lola, and had only one day of testing at Road Atlanta prior to this race, I'm extremely pleased with our performance. Sebring is one of the most punishing courses in the world and the most demanding on car, driver and crew. We experienced some problems that in total kept us in the pits for approximately three hours - but still, no one gave up - not the drivers, the crew or the car."

Team Manager Mike Johnson
"We had a really good showing at Sebring - a great test session, great practices and a really great qualifying run. Everything was in-sync. The first three hours of the race was going off like clockwork. We were maintaining first in class and really good overall position though the first round of driver stints. Then a run in with a Viper caused some damage to the right rear of the MG Lola that seemed to be the first of what would be many repairs throughout the race. But even between repairs, when the car was on the track, it was consistently turning near qualifying times - and even set a new class track record as well as a fastest lap. My hats off to the drivers - Steve, Jonny and Andy, and to the entire crew. These are a tough group of guys that just came together beautifully under very tough racing conditions. The MG Lola is an amazing car. As a team, we can't wait for the next race."

Driver Andy Lally
"I'd like to thank KnightHawk for the opportunity to race with them at Sebring. It was a dream come true for me - the MG Lola is definitely one of the most incredible cars I've ever driven. The pace of the car was super strong and we were able to keep the class lead for the first hours. I think the car made a great impression with IMSA and all the fans - as well as with the LMP 900 teams. I would jump at the chance to run with KnightHawk and the MG Lola again!"
 
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