Manor has confirmed that it will move into LMP1 competition with Ginetta, beginning with the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship ‘super season.’
The British squad, which has spent the last two years in the LMP2 ranks with Oreca machinery, had long been linked to a step up to the WEC’s premier class, dating back to Ginetta’s initial announcement that it would be building a car for privateers.
Chinese-based motor sports organization TRS, which has served as a team sponsor, has formed a joint venture business with Manor for the new LMP1 effort.
Further details on the program, including the number of cars the team will field and its engine partner, have yet to be released.
Ginetta previously announced a deal with Mecachrome for the supply of a 3.4-liter V6 turbo for its yet-to-be-named LMP1 car.
“We have been learning this championship for the last two years and we are confident that the time is now right for us to step up to the LMP1 category,” team principal John Booth said.
“We have known the people at Ginetta for many years and we believe that, working together, we will be able to develop a competitive LMP1 package.”
Manor Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon added: “I think that the LMP1 category provides a fantastic challenge for us but we can rely on a lot of experience gained over the years, in particular those spent in Formula 1, relating to the management of the design, research, testing and development processes that are so important for a successful LMP1 team.”
It marks the first confirmed customer for Ginetta and second new LMP1 team to be announced within two days, following news of of DragonSpeed also stepping up to the top prototype class next year, with a yet-to-be-determined car.
Ginetta announced last month that it sold three of its cars to a customer, which has plans to run two full-time in the WEC, although has yet to come forward.
“I am delighted with the confirmation of the selection by TRS Racing and Manor Endurance Racing of the Ginetta LMP1 for their program,” said Ginetta Cars Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson.
“The opportunities for all involved here are tremendous, for Ginetta, for the team, and for their backers.
“To take on endurance racing at this level is one of the toughest technical challenges in the world. It’s great to have a racing partner who relishes those challenges just as much as we do.”