Ginetta’s Lawrence Tomlinson was in typically ebullient mood at Le Mans on Saturday ahead of tomorrow’s Test Day, telling DSC that the Yorkshire-based marque is highly motivated ahead of the G60-LT-P1’s race debut later this month in the 24 hours proper, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to its LMP1 effort.
“We’re here to compete, and to show that we are very serious about LMP1,” he said. “This is a 5-10 year commitment from Ginetta and whilst the commercial issues for TRSM have meant that our testing programme has been massively delayed, that shouldn’t be confused with our intention to take this programme forward.
“The ACO deserve a massive vote of thanks for their patience and understanding in the past few weeks, tht’s allowed us to be here, and to have the space to put together what sits here today.
“Yes we’ll run a conservative race plan, but then I suspect most of the LMP1 field will do much the same. Our intention is to carry on working with TRSM Manor, they are our customer, but if we come out of the race in good order there’s a third car immediately available for sale; we’d like to see that out and racing too as soon as possible.”
As for the team, five of the six drivers are already here for the two-car effort still (as per regulation) entered under the CEFC TRSM banner, though the cars, and increasingly the team clothing are now lacking the CEFC brand.
The sixth driver, Alex Brundle, is busy today at Paul Ricard for the 6 Hour race until midnight tonight, driving for R-Motorsport’s Aston Martin effort.
Late call-up Mike Simpson is simply delighted to be a part of the racing aspect of a programme that he has had involvement with from the very first internal conversations. “It was a surprise, but a very, very nice one, to get the call-up. I’m very aware indeed of how important this is to Ginetta. To be shown this level of trust is fantastic.”
The cars remain in high downforce specification (one car in lower drag trim than the other) though a full low downforce kit is in production right now and will likely be tried on the car during race week before a decision is taken on which version will race.
Speaking to DSC, Charlie Robertson revealed that he was behind the wheel during the G60-LT-P1’s only running since Spa, the team completing a successful straight line test with the newer car, as a shakedown.
“The cars are now both in the best shape they’ve ever been. It’s great. I’m eager to get going now. It’s so good to be here, it’s big for Ginetta to make it to Le Mans. I can’t believe how many people are here before the Testing even begins. I’ve been reminded today of just how big this event is, really.”
And despite the travails of recent weeks there is an encouraging omen afoot. Back in 2006 the Team LNT effort suffered with engine woes throughout race week before it all came good in the race proper, Lawrence Tomlinson, Richard Dean and Tom Kimber Smith winning the class in the Panoz Esperante GTLM. That effort was, perhaps ironically, based in Garage 13, as indeed is half of the Ginetta G60-LT-P1 effort this year.
Never say never.