Manor’s WEC sportscar racing team plans to add an LMP1 Privateer effort to its 2018 racing programme with Ginetta’s new-for-2018 car, DSC can exclusively reveal.
“This is the ideal programme to take our sportscar racing programme forward,” said Manor’s team president Graeme Lowdon (below) to DSC earlier today. “We are looking for a project that plays to our team’s strength, our ability to contribute to the development of a race car and to use that to develop talent on and off the track, and to challenge for results.
“LMP1 offers more flexibility to have development input into the package and we certainly would see ourselves as partners rather than simple customers in a programme like this.
“It’s the ideal next step on the ladder to our current LMP2 programme, it gives us an opportunity to offer our customers a directly relevant and challenging step up the ladder whist keeping them within the Manor family. Everything we have seen of the programmes so far is encouraging. The right people, the right package and, from what we have seen thus far, a very competitive commercial package.
“If this programme goes where it should I really do believe it could help to unlock this marketplace. We’d love to be a part of the vanguard of that, to further establish ourselves in this area of the sport.
The new Ginetta LMP1 is being designed by a team headed up by Ginetta’s technical director Ewan Baldry, it already has concept drawings in place and is set to feature power from a new direct injection version of the Mechachrome turbo V6.
Its Mechachrome engine, in non-direct injection GP2-spec, delivers over 750 bhp but with a DI version, and the potential for a change in regulations to allow more fuel for the Privateer LMP1s the finished product deliver could well be close to 800 bhp, some 200 bhp more than the new-for-2017 LMP2-spec Gibson V8.
The project is also set to include CFD and windtunnel work headed up by Adrian Reynard and his Indianapolis based concern, design consultancy by Paolo Catone, designer of the Peugeot 908 LMP1, the Couurage C60 LMP 900 and latterly the BR01 LMP2 coupe. A third key member of the team with very significant and relevant experience meanwhile, cannot currently be identified for contractual reasons.
For the 2017 season Manor is targeting a return to the FIA WEC with Oreca 07 Gibsons in the LMP2 class, the team is currently working to finalise its driver lineup.
Current Ginetta LMP3 customers ARC Bratislava and PRT Racing have already confirmed their interest in fielding the new Ginetta LMP1 for the 2018 FIA WEC with the Garforth, Yorkshire-based company which is committing to an initial production run of 10 LMP1 chassis.