Blundell, Bailey to share race seat once again

Mark Blundell and Julian Bailey, who shared a Nissan sportscar in the days of Group C, will be re-united in an MG Lola EX257 for the marque's return to the Le Mans 24 Hours

Blundell, Bailey to share race seat once again

The pair of former Formula 1 drivers will be joined by Kevin McGarrity in the lead car, with the company's BTCC pairing of Anthony Reid and Warren Hughes teaming up with former Indy Lights star Jonny Kane in a second machine.

The Lola-built cars will race in the LMP675 category at the French endurance classic. Although they are unlikely to challenge the heavier, more powerful LMP900 prototypes for an overall win, Blundell believes a class victory is a possibility and has not ruled out the possibility of an upset.

The cars are powered by a 2-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine and weigh only 675kg, compared to the 900kg of the top-class cars from the likes of Audi and Panoz. Fuel efficiency, shorter pitstops and their nimbleness in wet conditions could all play into the team's hands.

"In a short amount of time, the team has done an incredible job and I am sure that we will surprise some people at Le Mans," he said. "There is a lot of work to do, but we have a great chance to do well.

"We ran a couple of laps at Albacete last week and I am very impressed with what has been done so far," he added. "It's great to be supporting a British manufacturer and flying the flag."

MG's two-pronged return to motorsport pitches a limited BTCC programme alongside its Le Mans assault, with Reid and Hughes taking in the final three BTCC races as a precursor to a full assault in 2002.

"It's great to have a chance to drive for such a prominent British marque in two campaigns and to have another shot at Le Mans," said Reid. "When I raced in Japan, we used to swap between four very different cars over the course of the year and it's nice to do that again - it gives it a fresh perspective."


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