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Manor Confirms Ginetta LMP1 Program

Manor confirms Ginetta LMP1 program for 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season…

Image: Manor

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.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. AF

    November 1, 2017 at 5:25 am

    So it’s not Manor as suspected who bought the first three chassis then? Subject to the usual caveats, we’re up to the same amount of full season P1 cars as this year, excluding the SMP, ByKolles, the possible return of Toyota, plus a few other people with bits in the works.

  2. Anonymous

    November 1, 2017 at 6:19 am

    So Manor didn’t buy those chassis! Who does that leave? My guess is Signatech Alpine! They must have a car for next year to keep competing in WEC and the Oreca doesn’t look like it’s even on the horizon.

    • FlyingLobster27

      November 1, 2017 at 7:56 am

      Plot twist: the first Ginetta customer is Toyota. XD

  3. Jerry

    November 1, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Do not know why everybody is getting exited about Ginetta. They build a LMP3 that could not compete with the other cars and had to enter their cars in another competition with bigger engines to stay in the market.

    • Jason

      November 1, 2017 at 8:09 am

      It’s because it’s British! Ha ha

      • Justin Porter

        November 1, 2017 at 9:00 am

        The Ginetta LMP3 had no issues competing with the Ligier chassis in LMP3 and was handily quicker than the Adess. Just ask ARC Bratislava in that regard. The major reason for the Ginetta withdrawal from LMP3 competition was that the ACO wasn’t mandating equal availability of spec components for all LMP3 manufacturers and supplier Oreca was showing favoritism towards Ligier in component availability.

        Aside from that Ginetta is a great classic name in sports car and road car manufacture, their owner – Lawrence Tomlinson – is a very well respected man in sports car racing.

    • Mike Simpson

      November 1, 2017 at 8:56 am

      LMP3 was a success for Ginetta, we sold a good number of cars, formed relationships with customers and new organisations world wide. ELMS was won in year one, finished 2nd in Asian Le Mans in 2016/17 and surprised everyone at a brief appearance in the 2016 Road To Le Mans Support of the 24h race, checking out at 2 seconds per lap at the front of all 56 entries.

      Arguably i would say LMP3 would not have happened with Ginetta and we do have a great car.

      LMP1 is super exciting, the level of detail and investment in the project will rival all other non hybrid manufactures and i am excited to see the results.

      Thank you to everyone for your support.

      Mike

  4. Tyler Sanders

    November 1, 2017 at 8:53 am

    it is going to be interesting to see who has the best LMP1 privateer car next year.

  5. daedalus

    November 1, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    I think this will be the best time for top level sportscar racing since the early 90s. Since then only manufactures have been able to afford to build cars that win outright. Privateers have been locked out due to cost. With now 8 LMP1 cars in total and possibly more to be announced it will be like the old Group C days with privateers getting just as much attention as factory cars, and that’s the way it should be. The same goes for IMSA with DPI/LMP2, everyone has a chance to win if they play their cards right.

    For too long the governing bodies have treated privateers as second class citizens to manufactures and then the series is at risk of folding when the budgets get too high and the factory teams pull out (as happend this year and last). They forget that privater racing is the backbone of Sportscar racing and has been since its inception. I just hope they don’t make the same mistake with the 2021 regs and make racing unaffordable again.

  6. ArButNot

    November 1, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    I still expect the LPM1 privateers to be minor challengers should Toyota return, save for the fact they might, initially, be present in greater numbers and thus enjoy an attritional advantage once they are developed.

    Certainly they’ll be at a reliability disadvantage until fully developed. How long that development takes depends on how well resourced they are and how many races they get under their belts consistently. The reliability deficit will have to be addressed as they address likely lap time deficit and, obviously, pit lane execution/strategy deficits.

    The above are but a few of the reasons why John Booth says that Ginetta believes it will be able to develop “a competitive LMP1 package”. Notice, he didn’t say “winning”.

    All of it hinges on how many LMP1 privateers show up and, more importantly, how many stay the course for any length of time.

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