Ginetta has today (4 January 2017) 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, having been the founding manufacturer of the hugely successful LMP3 class in 2015. Despite their contemporaneous LMP2 chassis bid being unsuccessful, the Ginetta design team has remained a powerful force in prototypes, moving toward P1 spec having released 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 and offers an open forum for design comparative to the more controlled formula of P2. The Ginetta LMP1 design has therefore started from scratch, allowing Ginetta to partner with world-class designers and supply partners to create an extremely competitive car.
Building on their current in-house expertise, Ginetta has brought legendary car manufacturer Adrian Reynard on-board to lead the aero development, along with a newly recruited 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.
“I’m hugely thankful to the ACO for the opportunity to run at the front and challenge for overall podiums,” explained Lawrence Tomlinson, Ginetta Chairman and winner of the inaugural Professional MotorSport World Expo ‘Outstanding Contribution to Motorsport’ award. “The Ginetta design team’s ability has already been proven by the class dominating Ginetta LMP3 and G57. 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.”
Ginetta has further confirmed they are in advanced talks with engine supplier MECACHROME as well as gearbox manufacturers Xtrac for the drive train. The car will be around 60kg lighter than a P2 and have up to 200BHP more. Accompanied with the huge downforce that their new aerodynamic team will develop, Ginetta is confident this will be a class-leading car.