Ginetta’s second-generation LMP3 car has received “interest from North America” according to the British sports car manufacturer’s chairman Lawrence Tomlinson.
Following the recent delivery of two Ginetta G61-LT-P3 Nissans to European squad ARC Bratislava, Tomlinson told Sportscar365 that his company continues to “support” LMP3 whilst pinpointing the U.S as a potential area for gaining traction with sales.
ARC Bratislava rolled out its new cars for a test at the Slovakiaring last week.
The team’s owner Miro Konopka told Sportscar365 that he’s planning to run the cars in the Asian Le Mans Series next February and suggested that they could also appear on next season’s European Le Mans Series or Michelin Le Mans Cup grids.
When asked about further customer interest in the G61, Tomlinson said that Ginetta is also noticing a demand for the product in North America where it has established a regional program as a shareholder in Virginia-based Ariel Atom specialist TMI AutoTech.
The partnership will operate as Ginetta North America and is set to primarily focus on entry-level racing products, while more details are expected to be shared soon.
LMP3s will be able to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, in addition to their continuing eligibility for the IMSA Prototype Challenge series.
The new-for-2020 G61 machine, which is the successor to the 2015 Ginetta-Juno P3-15, has not yet appeared in LMP3 competition but it’s understood that Ginetta North America is in preliminary discussions with IMSA regarding its potential involvement.
Additionally, a Ginetta G58 track day prototype was recently sold to a U.S customer.
“We have interest from North America with the car, and we have a base in Virginia so we can support the LMP3 out of Virginia for North American teams,” explained Tomlinson.
“That was always the idea. We’re happy to supply LMP3 cars and I think it’s a great product.
“At the moment, we’re not massively actively chasing down customers. But we’ve got a demonstrator and we’ll probably have a car in North America soon.
“We’ll support the car, so it’s a really viable option for someone who wants something that’s different, and could be the quickest car out there if engineered properly.
“It was designed by the same team that did our LMP1 car. The potential is really there. It’s missed out a bit on development this year with the way things have been [during the pandemic].”
The LMP3 market is currently dominated by Ligier JS P320s and Duqueine D08 Nissans, while Ginetta and German company ADESS also hold licenses to produce cars.
Seven Ginetta G61s are believed to be in existence, including the examples owned by ARC Bratislava.
“We’ve got another couple that are in-build at the moment,” added Tomlinson. “We did two before [the first] lockdown as well, and we’ve got the first prototype in stock.
“We just keep one or two cars in stock and if somebody wants one, we’ll sell them one. We’re not pushing out to build a load of stock. They’re all bespoke built for customers.
“North America looks like the biggest market because of IMSA. There’s some movement out there. You need to get a car out there, pounding around and beating Ligiers and Duqueines.
“As a factory, we’re happy for teams to do that and for teams to support them. We support LMP3 in terms of technical support and spares.
“We invested very heavily in the car. The team that originally designed it completely over-engineered it, so it’s not exactly a very profitable item for us, but I think it’s going to be an absolutely excellent car when it’s run competitively with a good team.”
On the European side, ARC boss Konopka is hopeful of bringing diversity to LMP3 grids that have so far only featured the cars from Ligier Automotive and Duqueine Automotive.
Ginetta was the first LMP3 constructor to enter the fray in 2015, while ARC Bratislava ran the company’s original third-tier prototype racer in the Asian Le Mans Series.
“I ran with the old Ginetta model since 2016,” said Konopka.
“I was satisfied with the [new] car and the cooperation with people from the Ginetta factory, especially [factory driver] Mike Simpson who helped us a lot.
“Maybe it would be more interesting for all series if they had more makes, not only Ligier and Duquiene.”