The FIA and ACO have chosen the 2016 Le Mans 24 hour race as the venue to launch the new LMP2 2017 engine. The GK428 engine will be unveiled at a press conference today ahead of the 24 hour race on Saturday.
Repton, UK-based engine manufacturer Gibson Technology has been chosen by the FIA and ACO as the sole engine supplier for LMP2 class sportscars from 2017 to 2020. Gibson has developed and will manufacture a new 4.2 litre V8 engine, supplying all LMP2 teams in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the Le Mans 24 Hours, as well as the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and the Asian Le Mans Series (from 2019 onwards).
Design and development work has been underway since August 2015 in order to achieve the targets set-out by the FIA and ACO. Dyno based endurance, calibration and performance testing commenced in December 2015 and subsequently the prototype GK428 engine has successfully completed 57 hours of simulated Le Mans 24hr duty cycle durability testing, which approximates to a total of 10,000km.
An initial batch of 20 engines are currently in production at Gibson Technology, four of which will be available by mid-August to support the four chassis manufacturers’ car testing schedule planned for August – October 2016. An additional six engines will then be made available before the end of October 2016, with 10 more engines ready for private testing by 1st December 2016.
“We are honoured to have been awarded the contract and look forward to working with, and supporting, all LMP2 teams from next year. It is a testament to our workforce and the products they have produced over many years,” explained Bill Gibson, chairman of Gibson Technology. “Gibson has over 20 years’ experience supplying engines for single make racing series and we are confident we can help make a valuable contribution in helping, what is already a flourishing series, become an even more successful sportscar racing category.”