Ginetta has today announced they will be a LMP1 chassis manufacturer for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with a top quality design team tasked with producing a new LMP1-L chassis that Ginetta intend to supply to a trio of two-car customer teams with plans for a production run of ten chassis. There is no current plan for a factory Ginetta team.
In addition to the organisation’s current technical resources, Adrian Reynard has been brought on-board to lead the new car’s aero development, 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 (as well as a raft of other significant LMP1 and LMP2 cars), will also be heavily involved in the design of the new Ginetta LMP1.
Ginetta has further confirmed they are in advanced talks with engine supplier MECACHROME as well as gearbox manufacturers Xtrac for the drive train. The car will be around 60kg lighter than a 2017 LMP2 and will have up to 200BHP more than the new for 2017 LMP2s. Coupling that power output with the huge downforce that their new aerodynamic team are tasked with generating, Ginetta is confident this will be a class-leading car.
Ginetta has a longstanding relationship with the ACO and was the founding manufacturer of the now hugely successful LMP3 class in 2015.
Despite their bid to produce a 2017 LMP2 chassis being rejected, the Ginetta design team moved forward to develop the G57-P2 in 2016.
With both the Ginetta LMP3 and Chevrolet powered G57 still in the range, and inning races, Ginetta is now set to move forward and take a significant step further up the ladder.
The ACO has fixed the LMP1 rules for five years and offers an open forum for design comparative to the more controlled formula of P2. The Ginetta LMP1 design has therefore started from scratch, allowing Ginetta to partner with world-class designers and supply partners to create an extremely competitive car.
Lawrence Tomlinson, Ginetta Chairman: “I’m hugely thankful to the ACO for the opportunity to run at the front and challenge for overall podiums. The Ginetta design team’s ability has already been proven by the class dominating Ginetta LMP3 and G57. With Adrian and Paolo on board, the performance of the Ginetta LMP1 is going to be amazing. 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.”
Pierre Fillon, ACO President: “More great news for endurance racing! Ginetta has proven its expertise in creating successful high performance chassis in G57 and Ginetta LMP3 categories and entering LMP1, the top tier category of endurance racing, appears now to be an obvious move for Ginetta as it moves forward. The valued expertise of Ginetta’s partners for this programme is also very promising for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship.”
Adrian Reynard, Owner ARC: “This certainly appeals to my competitive nature. Aerodynamics, drive-ability and fuel efficiency dominate race car performance in this category. With the highly talented team of experienced engineers that Ginetta has available, this LMP1 contender will be designed and developed to challenge at the highest level. Lawrence has a strong desire to create the very best LMP1 car available for the privateer and he has the commitment to deliver a production run of these”
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.
Miro Konopka, ARC Bratislava Team Owner: “After competing for many years in worldwide GT racing, Ginetta gave me the opportunity to move into prototypes with their LMP3.
“We are incredibly excited about this new chassis which will allow me to expand my motorsport platforms to include the WEC and every team and driver’s ambition, to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
Initial testing of the Ginetta LMP1 is expected to begin after this year’s Le Mans 24hrs.