While ORECA has proposed an upgrade kit for its existing prototype to be adapted to the 2017 LMP2 regulations, Onroak Automotive has revealed that is has opted to design and build an all-new Ligier specifically for new rules. (En Français)
“We’ll have a new Ligier LMP2 car released in 2017,” Onroak Automotive team principal Philippe Dumas told Endurance-Info. “Onroak Automotive has experienced this category with two very good cars in the Morgan LMP2 and Ligier JS P2.
“[The new set of regulations] were established so manufacturers can have a real business model over a minimum of four years. It has every reason to propose an entirely new LMP2 car for 2017.”
Dumas confirmed the existing Ligier JS P2 chassis cannot be upgraded to the new regulations, with the car’s width, which was built to the existing regulations, being one of the factors to start with a clean-sheet design.
“The new regulations require us to modify the tub,” he said. “Onroak Automotive has the ability to present a car fairly quickly for 2017 but that’s not our desire.
“The schedule will be dictated by the regulations. We will have cars ready for the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2017.”
Onroak, which joins ORECA, Riley-Multimatic and Dallara as the four approved LMP2 constructors in 2017, hasn’t given up on its current Ligier JS P2, although Dumas admits it will be a tough to attract new sales given its new car already being in the pipeline.
“Realistically, the Ligier JS P2 will not be an easy sell,” Dumas said. “We’ve put forward the new concept of our LMP2 car and we must now wait for customers.
“Onroak Automotive has shown its expertise in recent years, including our great responsiveness in delivering two cars to Tequila Patron ESM [at the last minute].
“Our future LMP2 will be based on the experience of the JS P2.”
One of the big opportunities for 2017 will be in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with Onroak in the process of establishing an increased support base in North America.
It recently hired Honda Performance Development engineer Ethan Bregman to also serve as Onroak’s U.S. representative, and further plans for expansion in the coming months.
“Onroak Automotive USA has been created administratively and it’s our obligation to be there for the time being,” Dumas said. “One of our thoughts is to do something with Honda Performance Development [in the future].”
The French constructor is currently represented by three U.S.-based teams in Tequila Patron ESM, Michael Shank Racing and Krohn Racing.