Peter Baron’s Starworks outfit were last seen in European competition back in 2012 when they ran the WEC (and Le Mans) title winning HPD in the first year of the World Championship.
In recent months Baron has been looking hard at the ELMS as a potential route for a looming customer effort keen to both expand their horizons and, they hope, catch the eye of the ACO with a Le Mans entry in 2016 or 2017.
Initial plans focused on LMP2 with the new for 2016 LMP3 looking like a late season 2015 option.
That plan though has changed again: “We were talking to Riley (below) and to Ligier about the last two races of this year ahead of a full 2016 programme but they could only provide a car for the final ELMS round of the year (at Estoril).
“Realistically the mobilisation that we’d need doesn’t make financial sense for just a single race this year so I’m looking again at LMP2 instead for Paul Ricard and Estoril. again with a full year in the ELMS in ’16.
“At the moment we’re talking to a number of people about cars that would be available for the last part of this season, and then for 2016. There’s a way to go but it’s looking good.”
The current US Dollar – Euro exchange rate is a major selling point for North American customers, but the racing this year, with a big grid of LMP2s, and the circuits that the ELMS is visiting, are clearly part of the attraction too.
Starworks are not though turning their back on programmes in their home market, Baron was very keen to emphasise that he remains fully engaged with IMSA’s work alongside the teams for TUSCC’s future structure, and is still looking for an avenue back into the top flight Prototype class, last contested by the team with their Riley DP (below) alongside their successful LMPC Oreca efforts.
“They’re talking to the teams about what we want and that’s very good. I’d love to do something here in Prototype and I’m keen to hear what they have to say.”