TVR is working to be on the grid in the FIA World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans with a factory GTE-Pro operation, according to chairman Les Edgar.
Edgar has reaffirmed plans to race the newly launched TVR Griffith in the top production-based class, potentially by as early as the 2020-21 season, to coincide with the next cycle of GTE regulations.
It comes on the heels of the British manufacturer committing to a multi-year partnership with Rebellion Racing for sponsorship of the Swiss squad’s Rebellion R13 Gibsons in the LMP1 class.
“We do intend to go GT racing,” Edgar told Sportscar365. “I’d like to think that our long-term relationship with Rebellion will assist us in our challenge.
“There are technical aspects of our relationship that we will feed through from the team to our road cars. But it’s the start of a long-term thing, and I’m sure it’s going to be successful.”
Edgar previously declared ambitions of taking the manufacturer back to Le Mans, having last been represented on the grid in 2005 with a GT2-class TVR Tuscan T400R.
The former video game developer, who took over ownership of TVR in 2013, launched the Cosworth-powered, Gordon Murray-designed Giffith at the Goodwood Revival last year, with it scheduled to go into production next year.
“I think realistically we had earmarked 2020 for our return to Le Mans,” Edgar said. “There is a new set of regulations, and we’ve been looking closely at that.”
GTE rules require a minimum production of 300 road cars within the first 24 months of the first day of production, and at least 100 units produced before the end of the first year of WEC competition.
Edgar said many race-inspired elements have been incorporated into the new-generation road car, such as a wider chassis and aero elements at the rear.
“The road car in its final stages of development and we’re trying to take into account what the regulations will allow to help us,” he said.
“That’s so we don’t have to do so much modification.
“We have a good relationship with the ACO and we feel confident that we could have a GTE car running in that timescale.”
Edgar, who admitted the idea would be to embark on a full WEC campaign, said he could “absolutely” see the manufacturer working with Rebellion and/or ORECA on the planned GTE-Pro effort.
“We have always, from day one, had motorsport in our sights,” he said.
“When someone sees a GT car, there’s a lot more resemblance to the road car than with a prototype. But with the prototypes you learn so much from a technology standpoint.
“If you can incorporate variants from both then it would be ideal.”
Engine Badging Possible on Rebellion
Despite plans for a GTE car, Edgar said he hopes to ramp up TVR’s involvement with Rebellion’s LMP1 program in the coming months.
When asked about the prospects on whether its LMP2-based Gibson engine could be rebadged as a TVR, Edgar admitted by saying it’s an “interesting thought.”
WEC rules permit engine rebadging although it’s unclear if it can be done mid-season.
“Let’s say the timing would be a bit sensitive, but we intend to keep going and ramping up our involvement with Rebellion. There’s only so far we can go,” Edgar said.
“The LMP1 approach is something that has an interest for us but it’s not ultimately where we will be as a factory.
“Ultimately it’s the start in GT and we could end up LMP after that as a factory team, we will see. But at the moment GT is our primary focus going forward after the LMP1 assault of the ‘Super Season.'”