Strakka Racing has ruled out a LMP1 program for 2017, casting further questions over the short-term future of the privateer subclass in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The British squad, which had been evaluating building its own prototype for the new-look class next year, is instead likely to remain in the LMP2 ranks, but with a new car, according to team principal Dan Walmsley.
“Various options are under consideration in LMP2 and elsewhere,” Walmsley told Endurance-Info.
“We like the FIA WEC. What is certain is that we won’t be present in the LMP1 privateer class next season because the timing is too tight. However, we are always looking at 2018.”
Walmsley said the team’s current Gibson 015S Nissan could continue in the Asian Le Mans Series, in the hands of a different team. The Asian championship will allow existing LMP2 machinery through the 2018/2019 season.
A decision on Strakka’s 2017 program has yet to be determined, but could see the team continue in the WEC, or potentially elsewhere. Walmsley said he should know more by the next round in Mexico City.
Strakka’s decision to forgo building a LMP1 car for 2017 follows the ACO’s announced changes to the Privateer subclass, which includes the planned rollout of DRS in 2018.
Rumors, meanwhile, have run rampant in the Nürburgring paddock that one of the existing LMP1 Privateer teams could exit the class by the end of the year.
ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil, meanwhile, told Sportscar365 that he’s unclear on the size of the grid for 2017 but stressed its importance for the future.
“It has to be over one to three years that we will see the effect of the decisions [announced last month at Le Mans],” Beaumesnil said. “It’s not over one or two months.”