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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just been into www.theracesite.com. The Knighthawk MG-Lola has been out running. On the site it is quoted as 37th out of 37. I suppose it's early days though.

Also been into another Le Mans Forum which I use and they are still mentioning the fact that Dyson has bought an MG-Lola chassis! I didn't think they were interested.

Jim
 
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This is from the Knighthawk - Sebring . Car looks good - log onto Knighthawk for race updates at Sebring - I wish them well!

March 12, 2002, Road Atlanta, GA - KnightHawk Racing will begin it’s
contention for the American Le Mans Series 2002 LMP 675 Championship by
competing in the 50th Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, presented by
Dodge, on Saturday, March 16, 2002.

The 12 Hours of Sebring is America’s oldest sportscar race and the first
round of the 2002 American Le Mans ten-race championship season. This
world-renown sportscar classic tests man and machine on a 3.7-mile, 17 turn
road circuit at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.

KnightHawk Racing, the lone LMP 675 entrant in last year’s event, and
understandable class winner, returns this year to face a remarkable ten
entries in the relatively new classification. KnightHawk was one of the
inaugural teams in the LMP 675 class that was instituted for the 2001
season.

The team will field it’s #11 DNTLworks MG Lola 675 LMP, with
co-owners/drivers Steve Knight and Mel Hawkins sharing cockpit duties and
will be joined by Ireland’s impressive Jonny Kane.

“At last year’s 12 Hours we had to race against ourselves – being the sole
class entrant,” says co-owner/driver Knight. “I’m really happy that the
class has grown from us having no in-class competitors at last year’s race
to ten this year! I got involved in racing because I love to compete and
now, with the turnout this year, I look forward to the competition – and I
welcome the new teams!”

This year’s race will also mark the first appearance in the American Le Mans
Series of the team’s new MG Lola 675 LMP. The MG Lola is the first purpose
built racecar for the LMP 675 class. Although a factory MG Lola contested
last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, this race at Sebring will mark the new
car’s first race on American soil. It also announces the return of the
much-missed MG factory to today’s sportscar family. Sebring will also mark
the car’s first appearance in KnightHawk traditional silver, orange and
black livery.

“The MG Lola has most certainly tested very well, and all indicators are
that it should be a serious contender for the class win,” said
co-owner/driver Hawkins. “But, taking nothing away from the testing
performance of the very well engineered MG Lola, a fast car alone does not
make for a championship-winning season. It requires a comprehensively solid
season-long effort by the drivers and the team, requiring excellent
preparation and set-up, flawless pit stops and the skill and capability of
the drivers. As a team we’ve worked very hard to rise to the challenge, and
we look forward to Sebring for our first test,” added Hawkins.

The team will face a week of final preparation, consisting of test days and
multiple practice sessions with qualifying on Thursday, March 14. The race
is a timed 12-hour event that will begin at 10:30am EST on Saturday, March
16.

The Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, is the longest-running
sportscar endurance race in the United States, having held its first race in
1952. The Sebring International Raceway was built on the site of a World War
II military training airfield. The list of previous winners is a virtual
“Who’s Who” of international racing history.

Flag-to-flag live television coverage can be seen on the Speed Channel
beginning at 10:00am EST on Saturday. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web
at www.americanlemans.com will provide up-to-the-minute scoring and live
reporting.

For additional information on KnightHawk Racing, including driver pictures
and bios, pictures of the new KnightHawk MG Lola – and updates during the
Sebring race – please log on to www.knighthawkracing.com.
 
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For JIM - read this - well done Knighthawk. Yeha - come on MG-Lola.

February 12, 2002 Road Atlanta, GA – KnightHawk Racing has raised the ante in the LMP 675 class by securing the coveted first MG Lola 675 LMP. KnightHawk will field the lightening-fast prototype in the 2002 American Le Mans Series Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.


Ever since the MG Lola 675 LMP debuted at the 2001 Le Mans 24 Hours – returning the famous MG name to the legendary sportscar event after a 30 year absence – the entire sportscar racing community has anxiously waited to see who will be the first to possess this beautifully engineered machine.


The interest escalated to a fevered pitch following the blistering times the car turned during tests, conducted jointly by the British-based MG Lola 675 LMP team and Archangel Motorsports. During the testing, conducted at Sebring, the car turned an amazing 1:48.5 on the second day – faster than the 1:48.825 track record set by Frank Biela in an Audi R8 in 2000.


KnightHawk Racing, co-owned by drivers Steve Knight and Mel Hawkins, fielded a Lola B2K in the 2001 ALMS series, placing second in the LMP 675 Team Championship (missing the title by only 2 points), and delivering the Chassis Manufacturer, Engine Manufacturer and Tire Manufacturer Championships. Their stellar effort netted 2 wins, 3 poles and 7 podium finishes. Drivers Knight and Hawkins finished the season 4th and 7th in driver’s points, respectively.


Building upon this success, KnightHawk racing has secured the much-anticipated first MG Lola 675 LMP and will mount a strategic effort to capture the 2002 American Le Mans Series LMP 675 Championship, with eyes set on a championship sweep of the entire category, and the fabled 24 Hours of Le Mans.


“We’re very excited about this new opportunity,” says Knight. “ We have worked very hard to assemble a great team and now, with the MG Lola – an outstanding car. All the pieces fit perfectly – and we promise the fans a very exciting show as we drive for the championship!”


KnightHawk will begin their assault with the new MG Lola at the 50th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring this March 13 – 16, 2002 at Sebring International Raceway. Additional information about KnightHawk Racing is available at www.knighthawkracing.com.
 
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The ALMS server has been down most of the day. T&S was up for some of this morning's 1st session. Last I saw, Knighthawk's EX257 had put in 14 laps with a fast time of just under 1:54.5. That was 8th overall and 1st in class.
 
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Excellent

Looks as though the big boys may get a few surprises as long as the AER engine holds out. However, I guess last years short falls have been engineered out by now! :D :D
 
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That's an impressive result - new car to the team and it's splitting the LMP900's. Plus the time is only 4 secs off the Audi R8's! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well thats much better. As I suspected it was probably an initial run to see all the systems were ok before going for a competitive run. Makes you think what it would go like if there were 3 drivers in the car and not 2 gentleman drivers!

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Amazing it's Steve Knight who has posted the time. Better be careful what I write in future.

Will be surfing this weekend tracking the progress of the MG.

Jim
 
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That's the stuff. What do Knighthawk press release say - "frighteningly fast". Good old Lola. In fact it is fantastic news! Well they nearly lasted 12 hours at Le Man - should be interesting. :D

PS. Abmbrm - off to Le Mans by any chance?
 
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Me? I only wish. I just hope Speedvision does flag to flag like last year. When they announced that the MG was 3rd overall I like to had a heart attack. If they don't, it'll have to be Radio LeMans. I love the Web.
 
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B****y Hell! Unbelievable - this bodes very well if the motor holds out!

Convinced me to book for Le Mans - JIM & I will defo be going.

Any others! :D
 

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Supporting RML in LMES & Dyson In ALMS
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Excellent Result, but does qualifying realy matter in a 12 hour race?

I think that it proves that the car is quick over a fast lap, a very good quality but whats realy important is that is uses less fuel and tyres than the rest of the field, therfore covering more distance in the time allowed.

Don't forget that the Intersport car is 2nd in the LMP675 class as well.

Lets all hope the engines hold out and the cars make it to the finish, and maybe even near the top of the field.

I am definetly going to LeMans went last year loved it

Go MG
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This is fantastic news not only for MGR and Lola but good old Blighty as well. Have you noticed how many British drivers are driving this weekend? Vann, Collins, Wilson, Herbert, Wallace, Weaver, Gavin, Pilgrim but to name a few. I hope a Brit stands on the top spot of the podium. Hope it's Mr Kane!

Qualifying is important. 12 hours or 24 hours generally speaking they are treated as non-stop racing from start to finish. Its been known for the winner of Le Mans to win by less than 1/2 a lap or in the case of 1969 two car lengths! So qualifying is still important. One doesn't get racing so close as this as you would have hoped in F1!

Jim
 
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KNIGHTHAWK LMP 675 QUALIFIES 1ST IN CLASS & 3RD OVERALL AT SEBRING Knighthawks Press Release


March 14, 2002, Road Atlanta, GA - KnightHawk Racing pulled an unexpected upset by qualifying its MG Lola 675 1st in class and 3rd overall for the 50th Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, this Saturday, March 16, 2002.

The team’s #11 DNTLworks MG Lola 675 LMP, piloted by Jonny Kane, ran ten laps in today’s joint LMP 900/675 qualifying session and generated a best-lap time of 1:50.543 to secure the class pole – as well as a surprising 3rd overall.

The first and second qualifying spots were secured, as expected, by the #1 and #2 Audi’s respectively. The third spot achieved by KnightHawk puts them ahead of the remaining 15 LMP 900’s in the field for the sportscar classic.

Ever since the LMP 675 class was officially sanctioned for the American Le Mans Series, sportscar purists and fans alike have debated whether a 675 car could achieve 900 lap times. It appears as though the performance of the
KnightHawk MG Lola has answered that question with a resounding - yes! It also appears that Saturday’s race will now become even more interesting.

Saturday’s 50th anniversary race may very well turn out to be sportscar’s version of David and Goliath!

The ALMS seems to have succeeded at creating a more affordable prototype category to stimulate increased prototype entries. As last year’s Sebring race, there was one 675 entry – nightHawk’s. This year there are ten. With today’s results showing the class’ increased ability to compete, it will surely generate more interest, more entries and yes, even more debate.

Several of racing’s heavy-hitters have believed that the LMP 675 class had the potential to do exactly what was done today – but not until a manufacturer made a decision to build a purpose-built LMP 675 from the ground-up. MG Lola made that decision - and today’s qualifying results are indeed a testimony to their effort.

“We chipped away at the times over the last few days, and we finished up today doing a really good job,” said team qualifier Jonny Kane. ”This is a privateer team, and all the guys worked really hard and did a super job.
Qualifying 3rd on the grid is really quite exceptional for a 675 car – I’m very pleased with the week so far. I look forward to the race this weekend and I think we can do well. The most important thing is to get to the finish. Hopefully we’ll be there at the end.”

“We’ve proven that we can be quick,’ said team co-owner and driver Mel Hawkins, ‘but that’s just the first test. Now we must prove to be reliable – and the race this Saturday will be our second test.”

I’d like to commend the entire team for their exceptional effort – 3rd overall was beyond our expectations – and we’re really quite happy about it,” said co-owner and driver Steve Knight. “Jonny was absolutely incredible, truly a world-class driver. The team did an outstanding job of prepping the car and sorting through some handling problems we experienced earlier in the week. We’re all very excited and really look forward to the race!”



Sessions:
Practice 1: 1st with a a time of 1:54.461 (116.372 mph)
Practice 2: 1st with a a time of 1:54.182 (116.656 mph)
Practice 3: 1st with a a time of 1:51.385 (119.585 mph)
Qualifying: 1st (3rd overall) with a a time of 1:550.543 (120.496 mph)
Nite Practice : 3rd with a a time of 2:04.642 (106.866 mph)
Practice 5: 4th with a a time of 2:04.911 (107.247 mph)
 
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