Ginetta announced they will be a LMP1 chassis manufacturer for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The announcement comes on the back of the announcement of Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s (ACO) new 2017 LMP1 rules.
Ginetta has a longstanding relationship with the ACO. It was the founding manufacturer of the hugely successful LMP3 class in 2015. Despite their contemporaneous LMP2 chassis bid being unsuccessful, the Ginetta design team remained a powerful force in prototypes. It moved toward P1 spec after releasing the powerful G57 in 2016. With both the Ginetta LMP3 and G57 securing their position as some of the most competitive prototypes in the world, Ginetta has seized the chance to add a LMP1 car to their range.
The ACO has fixed the LMP1 rules for five years. It offers an open forum for design comparative to the more controlled formula of P2. The Ginetta LMP1 design started from scratch, allowing Ginetta to partner with world-class designers and supply partners to create an extremely competitive car.
The company has brought legendary car manufacturer Adrian Reynard on-board to lead the aero development. It recruited a new 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, will also be heavily involved in Ginetta LMP1 design.
Ginetta has brought legendary car manufacturer Adrian Reynard on-board to lead the aero development
Lawrence Tomlinson, Ginetta Chairman: “I’m hugely thankful to the ACO for the opportunity to run at the front and challenge for overall podiums. 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.”
The designer team is in advanced talks with engine supplier MECACHROME. There are also negotiations with gearbox manufacturers Xtrac. The car will be around 60kg lighter than a P2 and have up to 200 bhp more. Accompanied with the huge downforce that their new aerodynamic team will develop, Ginetta is confident this will be a class-leading car.
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.”
The designer company will not be running a factory team. It will be looking to build ten chassis to support three, two-car teams run by customers. There is already significant interest from both new and existing customers. These include G57 customers PRT Racing and ARC Bratislava for their 2018 WEC campaigns.
Initial testing of the Ginetta LMP1 will probably begin after this year’s Le Mans 24hrs.