Alex Brundle says he’s put his “expectations aside” this weekend at Paul Ricard, in his LMP1 debut with CEFC TRSM Racing.
The 27-year-old Englishman was confirmed on Wednesday for the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship season, joining Oliver Rowland in the team’s No. 6 Ginetta G60-LT-P1 Mecachrome.
Brundle’s signing comes as the latest addition to the Manor-run outfit, which steps up to the top prototype class following two seasons of LMP2 competition with the all-new Ginetta.
“LMP1 is a massive challenge for a manufacturer let alone a privateer,” Brundle told Sportscar365.
“What these guys have achieved so far, and to be honest, I found out what they’ve achieved so far when I arrived on-site.
“We discussed, obviously, the program beforehand, but seeing it in the flesh, it’s really impressive. They’ve got some very clever people working on the car and some very hard-working people behind the scenes.”
Brundle’s first laps in the LMP1 car will come this weekend, following a testing and development program largely undertaken by Rowland, Charlie Robertson and fellow Ginetta driver Mike Simpson.
The team is set to debut its second Ginetta car at the test, which is currently being built up in the Paul Ricard paddock.
“I think we need to put our expectations aside and maximize the package,” Brundle said.
“One thing’s for sure is that it’s an absolutely creditable and absolutely realistic bid at competing in LMP1. That’s what is clear to me from standing on the ground here.
“In terms of the expectation of performance, I think we’ll know a lot more after this Prologue is finished. Then we’ll go from there.
“To be honest, I don’t think we’re too fussed about what the manufacturer cars will do at this test.
“I think we just focus on getting our own package together and maybe having a look at the other privateers and seeing what they’re up to.”
LMP1 the “Dream” for Sports Car Drivers
After years of LMP2 competition, as well as claiming the European Le Mans Series LMP3 title in 2016, Brundle said he’s excited to step up to the premier class for the first time.
“When we start endurance racing, we all dream of the top class at Le Mans and top class in the world sportscar championship, in whatever guise it is, at the moment it’s WEC. This is the aim,” he said.
“I’ll do my best to get climatized and do a good job from the onset.”
It comes after a one-year stint with Jackie Chan DC Racing, which has a largely revised lineup for its two-car Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 effort for the WEC ‘Super Season’.
Brundle said he kept a close eye on both Manor and Ginetta throughout last year.
“A British-based LMP1 project, for a young British sports car driver, is an obvious sell,” he said. “It is something we kept in touch on and had been chatting throughout the year.
“Even when they came out with the LMP3 cars, United Autosports was right across the road from Ginetta. I had various discussions there a long while ago.
“I’ve known Manor from the Young Driver test in Bahrain I did a long time ago.”