Great news from Ginetta this morning with the announcement that the Yorkshire based manufacturer will be a LMP1 chassis manufacturer for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Ginetta has a longstanding relationship with the ACO, having been the founding manufacturer of the hugely successful LMP3 class in 2015.
The announcement, which comes on the back of the announcement of Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s (ACO) new 2017 LMP1 rules allows the British chassis manufacturer to add a LMP1 car to their range, currently topped by the Chevrolet engined G57, one of the most competitive prototypes currently racing outside of ACO sanctioned events.
“I’m hugely thankful to the ACO for the opportunity to run at the front and challenge for overall podiums.” said Ginetta’s Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson. “The Ginetta design team’s ability has already been proven by the class dominating Ginetta LMP3 and G57.”
The Ginetta LMP1 design has started from scratch, rather than evolving from the current G57, allowing Ginetta to partner with world-class designers and supply partners to create an extremely competitive car. Ginetta have confirmed that they are in advanced talks with engine supplier Mechachrome as well as gearbox manufacturers Xtrac for the drive train. It is estimated that the new LMP1 will be around 60kg lighter than a P2 and have up to 200BHP more power.
Aero development will be headed by legendary car manufacturer Adrian Reynard, along with a newly recruited Head of Aerodynamics who brings LMP1-H experience and will be named in due course. Paolo Catone, who previously designed the Le Mans winning Peugeot 908, will also be heavily involved in the LMP1 design.
“With Adrian and Paolo on board, the performance of the Ginetta LMP1 is going to be amazing.” Tomlinson continued. “We are now offering a genuine ladder for our customers all the way from first race to Le Mans which is incredibly exciting for me.”
Recently ‘knighted’ ACO President Pierre Fillon praised Ginetta’s entry into the LMP1 category saying “Ginetta has proven its expertise in creating successful high performance chassis in G57 and LMP3 categories.
“Entering LMP1, the top tier category of endurance racing, appears now to be an obvious move.
“The valued expertise of Ginetta’s partners for this programme is also very promising for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship.”
Ginetta will not be running a factory team but will be looking to build ten chassis to support three, two-car teams run by customers. Significant interest has already been expressed from both new and existing customers, including G57 customers PRT Racing and ARC Bratislava for their 2018 WEC campaigns. Initial testing of the Ginetta LMP1 is expected to begin after this year’s Le Mans 24hrs.