British team Strakka Racing has announced its intentions to expand its endurance racing activities to create a Privateers’ LMP1 car for the 2017 season. The car, will be the first to be designed in-house by the British team, and will be built at its recently expanded facilities at Silverstone.
The new car will draw upon advances in 3D printing and additive manufacturing that Strakka Racing has pioneered to shorten manufacturing lead times and reduce project costs, both of which are part of Strakka’s long-term business goals.
“The 2017 LMP2 regulation changes that restrict the number of chassis manufacturers meant we had to evaluate our current business strategy and seriously look at projects that would enable us to draw on the experiences we have from our LMP2 car,” says team principal Dan Walmsley. “After evaluating all the options, the LMP1 Privateers’ category now offers the best arena to create our own car, which we will use to showcase our growing knowledge of new design and manufacturing processes to build a cost effective car in the shortest timeframe. Strakka Racing is continuing to develop and this will be another step forward to becoming a true sustainable motorsports business.”
Strakka Racing will now start work on defining the architecture including selecting an engine partner. To accelerate development in time for a 2017 launch, the team’s 2015 S103 chassis will become a development mule for the new LMP1 car and hence the team will run a recently-acquired Gibson in 2015 specification in the remainder of this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship.
“We learnt our lesson in 2013 not to stop racing whilst we develop the new car,” adds Walmsley. “We were able to source a Gibson to use for the balance of 2015. It’s a competitive car that allows us to continue to race and use the S103 chassis for test and development work in parallel.”