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“Not Much in Return” for Ginetta in Challenging Opening Day

Graeme Lowdon disappointed after problematic day for CEFC TRSM Racing…

Photo: Olivier Beroud Images

CEFC TRSM Racing sporting director Graeme Lowdon was left disappointed after a challenging first day of on-track action ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The pair of Ginetta G60-LT-P1 Mecachromes logged a combined total of 59 laps in Free Practice and Qualifying 1 on Wednesday with a best provisional qualifying time that’s 13 seconds off the pace from the leading Toyota TS050 Hybrid.

The British outfit suffered several mechanical problems on both cars, including a forced engine change between sessions, which prevented it from competing more laps in the day’s six hours of on-track action.

All in all, a huge amount of effort and not much in return,” Lowdon told Sportscar365.

“I have to say, the guys in the garage did an absolutely mega job and it’s about time they got some reward for the effort that’s going in. That’s the way it is.”

Lowdon said a “configuration problem” was found early in Free Practice on the No. 6 Ginetta, which has had a new engine since the Test Day, forcing the team to work on both cars to eliminate the issue.

The cars then went back out on track but the No. 6 Ginetta later developed an engine problem.

“We did an engine change between Free Practice and qualifying so by the time we started, it was less than two hours for the guys to complete a full engine change in an LMP1 car,” Lowdon explained.

“It was a really impressive task, just disappointing that it had to be done in the first place.

“That put us on the back foot, big time, going into qualifying because we missed the first 15-20 minutes which is the only time you get any clear track.

“Then it was pitch black and we were just playing catch-up from there.”

The No. 5 Ginetta was able to log some quicker lap times in Q1 with Leo Roussel setting a 3:26.246 lap, although all of the Frenchman’s laps were deleted due a pit lane speeding infraction.

The same car also had an electrical problem that brought Mike Simpson to a halt early in Free Practice, which was initially masked by the configuration problem.

Ginettas “Need to Find More Pace” in Thursday Qualifying

Lowdon is concerned that the team might not be able to improve upon its qualifying positions in tonight’s two sessions, with rain forecasted.

The best recorded lap time for the team in Q1 was a 3:30.339 set by Alex Brundle in the No. 6 entry, with the cars last in class and almost 11 seconds behind the fastest non-hybrid entry.

Simpson, however, did post a 3:25.203 lap in Free Practice.

“Obviously, if it rains as forecasted today, it would really put us in not a great place at all for the race,” Lowdon said.

“It certainly seems as if, under [the Equivalence of Technology] restrictions, we don’t have the instant lap time that you would hope to get.

“Everything that we’re seeing on the car itself is as predicted, but we clearly need to get more pace.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Joel

    June 14, 2018 at 6:10 am

    A poor showing at Le Mans is inevitable, given that the lack of running at Spa had not given the team chance to find the bugs that are still inside that car. I feel bad for the team themselves given all the work they’ve done and then been let down by corporate failure by a company that probably isn’t interested in anything other than having its name plastered on the side of the car.

  2. jim

    June 14, 2018 at 6:57 am

    I am a bit confused. In their press releases they stated early season testing went almost without any problems, that they looked on pace with Toyota and that they would definetly not qualify last in class.

    So the car went from a Toyota rival to a piece of junk that can barely race a p2 car?

    WOW. Someone has been making up stories.

  3. Douglas D

    June 14, 2018 at 7:14 am

    When I said they can not even build a decent LMP3 what of a LMP1 I was scoffed at. They won a few LMP3 races when there was not much competition around. Today if you find a LMP3 in a race it is at the back of the grid

    • Nothing is worse than sportscar 'fans'

      June 14, 2018 at 8:22 am

      How dare you be realistic? I’m sorry you are only allowed to post happy, they will make the grid and be as fast as Toyota thoughts on sportscar related pages. Unless it is the ACO and then it’s all storm and sadness, or Toyota and then it’s all they have an advantage and life isn’t fair.

  4. James

    June 14, 2018 at 8:10 am

    The car is a turd! Who in their right mind would choose a Ginetta to go LMP1 racing? Nobody. And then these BS press releases…awful. All these excuses for zero performance. Just pathetic. Difficult to know if this effort is worse than the Nissan a couple of years ago. At least it doesn’t have the engine in the front…

    • daedalus

      June 14, 2018 at 8:36 am

      They have not run much at all, they have only done straight line testing and the Prologue and the test last week with limited running and thats it. Unlike other teams they have no setup data for le mans and they can’t develop a fast setup with all the reliability problems. What they need is more track time which is in short supply. It remains to be seem what their actual performance is until they get it reliable with a good setup on it.

      It will be a miracle if they finish the race at all, its best to use the 24h race as a long test session for the rest of the WEC season to make up for the time lost at spa. Le mans is often about who has the fewest problems rather than overall pace so they could still spring a surprise if they sort out the electrical problems before the race.

    • Paul

      June 14, 2018 at 11:13 am

      I’m happy the Nissans were there. I’d be happier if they had return with a function HY. Much of cool of Le Mans is the mechanical diversity. Nissan tried something very different, thats cool. Ginetta ran out of time, sad for them, but no need to rage.

  5. Jim

    June 14, 2018 at 9:10 am

    http://www.dailysportscar.com/2018/03/17/ginetta-p1-completes-successful-3-day-test-with-video.html

    It’s so much fun reading their bullshit PR stories from a month ago. I almost crapped my pants.

  6. Kane

    June 14, 2018 at 9:18 am

    In April they also reported running 259 laps in 30 hour session without problems

    • Kane

      June 14, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Was at Paul Ricard this time

  7. Jim

    June 14, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Now I really did crap my pants:

    http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/tomlinson-ginetta-g60-lt-p1-to-challenge-for-overall-win/

    This is the Nissan LMP1 story all over again. I honoustly think this project will stop right after Le Mans.

    • James

      June 14, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      The sad thing is that Sportscar365 just copies and pastes this shite instead of questioning all this shite and writing an opinion. The state of motorsport journalism is almost as bad as the Nissan effort. The journalists are all scared of having to buy lunch themselves so they are never ctritical.

  8. Just another fan

    June 14, 2018 at 10:36 am

    So, from the last part of the text, Ginetta admits that it built a slower car than the rest. As EoT is equal for all the privateers and Ginetta can’t do better, Ginetta needs to work in a B/EVO version or in an all new “61” car. Is this really the best that Ginetta, celebrating its 60th anniversary, can do? The car carries the initials of the boss! It should be better and this could hurt the brand’s other businesses in the racing car market. If the top of the range is like this…

  9. Yetimania

    June 14, 2018 at 11:26 am

    This is what happens when you trust proven incompetents like Mecachrome.
    Always slowest from all prototypes and yesterday even a Porsche GT3 was faster…
    No power. No reliability. Those are the facts, also evident in F2 where the cars can not lap faster than last year and engines are breaking freely.

    • intheknow

      June 14, 2018 at 7:11 pm

      You say that of a company that won how many F1 championships as Renault? Give Meca some credit. They have earned it.

  10. JG

    June 15, 2018 at 12:12 am

    The G57 LMP2 is a fantastic car and has the race wins to prove it.

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