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Ginetta “Looking Out” for Partner Teams; Eyeing Race Return

Ginetta open to discussions with new customer teams for LMP1 program…

Photo: MPS Agency

Ginetta is “looking out” for potential new partner teams to enter its LMP1 car in the FIA World Endurance Championship, according to company chairman Lawrence Tomlinson.

The Ginetta G60-LT-P1 AER has not raced since the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, in the wake of funding issues related to the Chinese sponsors of the TRSM Racing team that initially ran the car.

The British-built LMP1 subsequently missed the WEC rounds at Silverstone, Fuji and Shanghai, and will not be on the grid for the Sebring 1,000-mile race in March because of potential “logistical difficulties”.

However, Tomlinson said the overall project remains “absolutely live” and that the two ex-TRSM race chassis are available should a customer come forward.

He suggested that a Ginetta could appear on the grid at either Spa or Le Mans this year, but would not be drawn on whether the manufacturer has submitted an entry for the latter. Applications for Le Mans close on Jan. 31.

A Ginetta LMP1 taking to the grid in the final two WEC rounds of 2018-19 would likely operate as a factory entry.

“What teams do with the cars is up to them, but clearly Manor [TRSM Racing] have had issues with their funding so that’s why the cars haven’t been out,” Tomlinson told Sportscar365.

“Moving forward now, we’ve got two WEC capable cars, spares packages, and hundreds of wheels.

“We probably could do Spa and Le Mans with a team, and you could do realistically some testing and start the new series in September at Silverstone.”

The Ginetta LMP1 has not tested with its new twin-turbo V6 AER engine since the package completed a debut run at Silverstone last summer, although Tomlinson insisted the manufacturer “hasn’t just been doing nothing” since Le Mans.

“We’ve just kept quiet, out of respect for the Chinese [TRSM sponsors],” he said.

“We’re just waiting for them to come up with the money, but I think we’ve waited long enough to say that clearly they haven’t met their obligations to the team [TRSM], so the team can’t meet their obligations to us, therefore the cars are back at the [Ginetta] factory.

“During this period they’ve all been re-prepared and converted to AER engines. Now’s the time to put it out there that we’ve got two fantastic cars ready to go.”

Tomlinson explained that the WEC’s transition to a full winter schedule, which places the start date for the 2019-20 season in July for the Prologue test, will help Ginetta in its efforts to be represented on the LMP1 grid.

“It’s perfect [because] you’ve got time for a whole test program, tire program, reliability program for the 2019-20 season,” he said.

“Then you’ve got two races that you can do with the car now, in preparation for that.

“We just need a team partner that’s got the ability to do it. They are out there, it’s just a case of us looking out for someone.”

Key Winter Staff Change

Sportscar365 understands that Peter Smith, who designed the Ginetta G57-P2 track day prototype, is now in charge of the LMP1 technical department following the departure of technical director Ewan Baldry.

It’s understood that Baldry has taken up a new engineering role in the United States after leaving the Yorkshire-based manufacturer in November.

“We’ve got a big technical area,” said Tomlinson.

“We’ve got [former race engineer] Pete Smith who’s stepped up to that role, so we’re totally capable of what we were doing before.

“We’re constantly strengthening the design team because we’re doing other things like road and other race cars.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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