In what is expected to be the final LMP3 announcement from Ginetta Juno before the New Year comes the news that Rollcentre Racing are set to return to the international racing stage in the European Le Mans Series in 2015 to field one of what is now expected to be no fewer than eight Ginetta Juno LMP3s looking for entries. When was the last time a newly launched prototype attracted this level of interest?
Rollcentre are set to rejoin ACO rules racing for the first time since the end of the 2008 season when the team finally parked their Pescarolo Judd after a run in the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours itself that yielded podium finishes in LMP1 and LMP2 in Martin Short’s beloved Dallaras, and the Radical SR9. The team’s crowning glory though was an astonishing 4th place overall at Le Mans in 2007.
Rollcentre Racing team owner and driver Martin Short made the decision to return to the Le Mans Series following a Ginetta-Nissan open evening on December 11, where the design team and key suppliers presented their vision for the new series.
Ginetta Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson said; “The launch of the Ginetta-NissanLMP3 has been an incredible success, with Rollcentre Racing’s purchase marking the eighth chassis sold thus far. The first cars will be on track in early 2015 and we are looking forward to an amazing season.”
“After some amazing years racing with the ACO and the Le Mans Series, I never really envisaged being able to return, however Lawrence Tomlinson and Ewan Baldry’s vision of Ginetta-Nissan’s new LMP3 car caught my attention,” said Short. “Lawrence invited me to the launch of the car on a wet evening in Leeds, and I was so impressed by the prospects of this new visionary class, that I agreed to buy the next day.”
Short added; “This car is a ‘proper’ Le Mans Prototype, and with this car, Ginetta-Nissan have, in true Tomlinson style, hit the ground running hard with a terrific package. I am incredibly excited to be adding a new ‘Back to Le Mans’ chapter to Rollcentre Racing and of course, looking forward to working with Lawrence once again.”
“Lawrence and I both started our Endurance racing with TVR and our paths have been inter-twined for many years, so to now join him and Ginetta, another thoroughly British company, seems like completing the circle. I have a great team of experienced people who have worked with me in so many Le Mans races that are totally stoked to be racing Prototypes again with the ACO. The final piece of the jigsaw, is that my ex engineer Michael ‘Cushty’ Tallentire who worked with me at all those Le Mans races, went to work with Lawrence at Ginetta when our programmes stopped, and all he wanted Ginetta to do was to go Prototype racing.
“Well he died suddenly at a young age on the eve of Xmas eve in 2013, and now, almost a year to the date, we are all almost together again, and his son Alex will be working with us. Its very spooky, and unbelievably exciting. I’ve been waiting for 6 years for something to get my attention, and this is it.
“We will get our car before the first race at Silverstone, and time will be tight for us, as it will be for the other five Ginetta LMP3’s being built simultaneously. I am not intending driving at this stage, but I will be managing the team, using my experience along with top race engineer Lee Penn, to get our car to the front. The prize for winning LMP3 is an entry for LMP2 in 2016, and that will be our goal. To that end, we are looking for drivers, and partners to become part of the ‘Rollcentre Back To Le Mans Adventure’.”
The SVK by Speed Factory effort meanwhile are believed to have confirmed their order for a second Ginetta Juno