After pictures emerged last week of the first Mecachrome engine being delivered to Ginetta’s Garforth factory, DSC caught up with technical director Ewan Baldry this morning to get an update on exactly where the Ginetta LMP1 programme is as the current FIA WEC season comes to a close in Bahrain.
“Parts are arriving every day for the first car, the first tub and full bodywork will be with us by the end of next week so from that point forward we can move from sub-assembly to full build,” he said. “The last major component that we are expecting is the first gearbox, that arrives the following week.
“Against our current expectations we anticipate the first car having its first (straight-line) running during the second week in December ahead of extensive testing.
“Alongside all of that we’ve just completed a fifth series of sessions in the (Williams Advanced Engineering) wind tunnel (above), not on the primary bodywork, that work was completed some time ago, but on the fine tuning and adjustability of the package. We are very excited about the results.
“The Ginetta in-house team is responsible for the assembly, but we’ve invited Graeme (Lowdon) to send some of his guys to observe and assist, that’s good for them as they work up their programme.”
At present the first car has been allocated as Ginetta’s development machine, with Manor’s car next up (no final decision will be made about any second car for TRS/Manor until the team is persuaded that the car is reliable and showing good performance).
“That’s a very sensible stance from them,” Baldry continued. “And a great incentive for us to prove the car. It’s a very exciting time. We’re very confident that we have something very special, now it’s time to show everyone how special.”
That could be very important indeed, as DSC understands that there is at least one, as yet undeclared potential LMP1 customer in the wings. Those early tests could be critical for progress with more than one programme in the WEC’s premier class.