Ginetta Announces LMP1 Chassis for 2018

Photo: Ginetta

Photo: Ginetta

The LMP1 field is set to welcome a new manufacturer in 2018, with Ginetta announcing on Wednesday that it will join the top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship beginning next year.

The British manufacturer will build ten chassis with the aim of supporting three two-car customer teams, although won’t field a factory team itself.

As the founding manufacturer of the LMP3 class in 2015 along with the release of the new-for-2016 G57, Ginetta has started to make a name for itself in prototype racing in recent years.

This is despite the team’s unsuccessful bid to be an LMP2 constructor this year.

Ginetta has brought on several new team members to help with the LMP1 effort, including Adrian Reynard in the aerodynamics department, alongside a yet-to-be-revealed Head of Aerodynamics with previous LMP1 Hybrid experience.

In addition, Paolo Catone, whose previous experience includes designing the Peugeot 908, and most recently the BR Engineering BR01, has also been brought on board.

“I’m hugely thankful to the ACO for the opportunity to run at the front and challenge for overall podiums,” said Ginetta chairman Lawrence Tomlinson. “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.”

Added ACO President Pierre Fillon: 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 program is also very promising for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship.”

The British constructor is in “advanced talks” with engine supplier Mecachrome and gearbox manufacturer Xtrac for the car’s drivetrain.

A number of Ginetta’s existing LMP3 customers, meanwhile, have already expressed interest in becoming potential LMP1 customers, including PRT Racing and ARC Bratislava.

“After competing for many years in worldwide GT racing, Ginetta gave me the opportunity to move into prototypes with their LMP3,” said ARC Bratislava team owner Miro Konopka.

“We are incredibly excited about this new chassis which will allow me to expand my motorsport platforms to include the WEC and every team and driver’s ambition, to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

Ginetta joins the previously announced LMP1 non-hybrid project from Dallara and BR Engineering, which will also be on the grid in 2018, although only a single LMP1 Privateer entry is expected this year, from ByKolles Racing.

Testing of Ginetta’s LMP1 chassis is planned to get underway following this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

23 Comments

  1. P

    January 4, 2017 at 5:12 am

    WOW, what a car.

    Do you think that this car can be a match for Porsche and Toyota.

    Two teams have been included (PRT and ARC Bratislava), probably the third team is going to be Joest Racing.

    • StueyB83

      January 4, 2017 at 8:01 am

      No chance in hell it will be as fast as factory hybrids.

      ARC can’t even be competitive in Blancpain in its class..

      As for Joest….

  2. James

    January 4, 2017 at 5:23 am

    With Paolo Catone onboard I think that almost says the BR Engineering project is in strife already. Hope they can turn it around but we’ve seen Boris Rotenberg falling out with people before.

    It will certainly be an interesting time for P1, the cars will need to be lighter, more powerful and carry more downforce fo surpass the new LMP2 cars, though Ginetta know from not getting the chassis tender where and what they need to do.

    • Fabio

      January 4, 2017 at 6:50 am

      BR Engineering will partner with Dallara for their P1 car. It’ll be based around the Dallara LMP2 chassis, not the BR01.

  3. juneracer

    January 4, 2017 at 7:23 am

    WOW, their P3 car wasn’t very nice or very good. it just happened to be the only choice early, so it had to win. it was the only car. whats Reynard been up to for the last 20 years? this whole release seems a bit optimistic. time will tell…

    • NaBUru38

      January 4, 2017 at 8:11 am

      Reynard runs the Auto Research Center Indy.

      They have a 50% wind tunnel, a 7-post shaker rig, CFD, etc.

    • Louis

      January 4, 2017 at 10:53 am

      What Gibson is today is what Reynard used to be. Reynard hot financial troubles got bought by Zytek, which at one point was co owned by Tomlinson who owns Ginetta bit that fell through and now is Gibson…. but you may have already known that.

    • Max

      January 4, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      Their P3 was rushed so the series could run. They’d probably still be actively pursuing LMP3 if they didn’t have a falling out with Oreca over the engine program.

  4. Bakkster

    January 4, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Wake me when the customers are announced. We all know how these “90% there, just need funding” programs go.

  5. southcove

    January 4, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Interesting news. It will be educational to try and follow the progress of the design and engineering and see who (if any) are the real serious & funded teams are able and interested in stepping up. WEC budgets to play at that level, 2 cars are necessarily quite high. How close are the new designs expected to run to the factory hybrids in 2018?

    • Ko I

      January 4, 2017 at 9:28 am

      I’m sure the ACO will claim they’ve bent over backwards to make sure the LMP1L cars are absolutely able to keep up with the LMP1H cars, and then, come race time, the LMP1L cars will, as always, be so much slower that there’s no point in them being considered part of the same class.

      • TF110

        January 4, 2017 at 2:09 pm

        Yeah, right. Near 700-800hp, 830kg, active aero (like f1 drs) and more freedom of design is just waiting for someone with a reasonable budget and facilities to come challenge up front.

  6. Louis

    January 4, 2017 at 10:55 am

    So because Ginetta is a small production company does that mean they can build a non-hybrid? Just curriohs as im not sure what the regulations state and if its gointo be a hybrid i dont see this car being that much better than the what the Rebellions were able to do. But i could end up being pleasantly surprised

    • M

      January 9, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      Only major auto manufacturers are compelled to run hybrid cars. Ginetta don’t really care if their cars are fast or not(they won’t be) as long as all ten chassis sell. Money is the name of the game in the supplier business.

  7. 7D3

    January 4, 2017 at 11:43 am

    I think one of the 3 teams is going to be Team LNT with Nissan Motorsports.

  8. Doug

    January 4, 2017 at 11:54 am

    I’m confused. Are they selling an LMP1 chassis to customers for entry as LMP1 privateers? Or are they actually fielding an LMP1 car as a manufacturer?

    • KW

      January 4, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      They will not field the car themselves. This is an offer for any private team who wants to field an LMP1 starting 2018. This could be interesting for new teams like ARC Bratislava or PRT. For them it might be an easier way to qualify for the 24h Le Mans than to compete in ELMS with an LMP2, where the competition is much bigger. This is the “market gap” which Ginetta/Reynard is looking for.

    • YugoFast

      January 4, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Literally explains they have zero desire to field their own team.

  9. Justin Porter

    January 4, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    A viable LMP1-L customer option is definitely what the WEC has been missing. As fantastic as the Rebellion and ByKolles are, they’re inherently limited to being passion projects.

    A customer program with parts and technical support could mean the difference between extinction and proliferation (see also Porsche 956)

  10. StueyB83

    January 5, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Whatever happened to project Brabham 🙁

    • RC

      January 5, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Word is that Brabham has funded his yacht instead of a racing project. He is probably making jokes about everybody who funded him.

    • David Chaste

      January 11, 2017 at 3:01 am

      Project brabham was a hoax. It was only so their family does not loose control of the brabham brand. The holder of a brand has to show that they are actively using in whatever manner. If not after 20 years it will become public domain. At least under U.S copyright and trademark laws. Most developped countries i assume might have similar provisions.

  11. George

    January 11, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    UPDATE:

    Manor has committed to this project. Should be interesting to see if it looks anything even remotely like this design.

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