LMP3 is set to provide a new entry level into ACO rule prototype racing as the all-coupe, spec drivetrain but free chassis/ body class regulations are finalised ahead of a debut in the Asian and European Le Mans Series from 2015.
The very first advanced design so far seen of a proposed LMP3 car has been revealed this morning as former Le Mans class winner and Ginetta Chairman, Lawrence Tomlinson reveals the plans for the brand new Ginetta-Juno LMP3.
The car will be assembled at Ginetta’s Yorkshire factory under the direction of the company’s new Technical Director Ewan Baldry.
Baldry’s arrival at Garforth, where he is now responsible not only for the new LMP3 programme but has an overview too of all of the Ginetta road and race cars, coincides with the current acquisition, by Tomlinson personally, of the Juno concern that Baldry founded after a spell with Williams F1, producing CN prototypes with no little success.
“Le Mans holds a special place in my heart and it is with great pleasure I can achieve my goal of taking Ginetta-Juno into ELMS and ALMS, with a broader plan of competing in a Ginetta at the Le Mans 24hrs. There is definitely a market for an affordable top-tier sports car and I have no doubt our innovative new partnership will be a winning combination.”
LMP3 is, in effect, the replacement for the spec Oreca FLM09 LMPC class which has faltered in recent years other than in North America.
Built around a strict cost capped set of regulations which ensures a cap on budget for manufacturing, the ACO are also aiming to reduce running costs in terms of spare parts, support and personnel.
The Ginetta-Juno LMP3 will use a regulated V8 engine, running at around 420bhp but utilising the freedom that LMP3 regulations allow with regard to the design and development of the aerodynamics, styling and chassis but ensuring the car is durable, reliable and easy to work on.
The effort is a hugely interesting one, and the plans for the Ginetta and Ginetta-Juno brands are set to move forward from here as you’ll read in our accompanying interview with Lawrence Tomlinson and Ewan Baldry.
Most interesting of all is the fact that Ginetta, almost uniquely in world motorsport, now have an enormous contact database of teams and drivers, many of whom are looking for a cost effective way into international sportscar racing. Ginetta’s GT racing series have, in effect, created their own ladder which will have LMP3 as its top rung (for now at least!) Their confidence is underlined by the initial production plans for the completed car with a batch of 10-15 cars planned!
“Lawrence has clearly demonstrated his commitment to success having already taken Ginetta from a small manufacturer to a worldwide renowned motorsport player, and it is fantastic to be part of his vision for the future. Juno has worked successfully in sports prototype motorsport and it is great to be moving up the ladder. We are very confident the Ginetta-Juno LMP3 car will be a force to be reckoned with and clearly it provides another option for the drivers progressing through Ginetta’s, already established, route to the top.”
The Ginetta-Juno LMP3 is progressing well and the first CFD runs (undertaken by TMG in Cologne) have shown very favourable results. Around 80% of the car, including bodywork and rollover structure, will be built in-house.
The sales effort is understood to be in the hands of another new Garforth arrival, ex Radical Sportscar Sales Manager Jamie Robinson who brings with him a probably unmated relevant contacts book.
Tatuus, SORA Composites, Onroak and Wolf are also understood to be working on LMP3 designs