Beechdean Motorsport team principal Andrew Howard admits that the ultimate aim for his team following its tie-up with Nigel Mansell is to fight for victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Beechdean Mansell Motorsport, as the team will now be known, will enter the Le Mans Series with a Ginetta-Zytek for Leo and Greg Mansell with father – and former F1 title winner – Nigel joining his sons for a number of events during the year, including the Le Mans 24 Hours if an entry can be secured.
Having purchased the ex-Strakka Racing Ginetta-Zytek, Beechdean Mansell will find itself up against the likes of Audi and Peugeot if a Le Mans entry can be secured and Howard insisted that the team was confident that upcoming rule changes would allow it to fight for honours.
“Probably an ex-World Champion in the car has something to do with it!” he said of the decision to go to LMP1 rather than LMP2. “The main reason is that we have entered this as a long-term project, it isn't just for a single year. We feel that, with the team and sponsors - as well as Nigel, Leo and Greg - that we have a chance of running near the front. There are rule changes coming in at Le Mans and the event will change.
“We hope that the diesels won't be the dominant force that they are currently in the future and we genuinely feel that, over the next three years, teams like ours and cars like this will have the capability to win Le Mans. You have to remember that the 24 Hours of Britcar saw us running in Class 3 with an Aston Martin N24 but we still finished second overall, so everything in life is achievable.”
Howard also confirmed that the team could still run its GT3-spec Aston Martin later in the year, although the focus currently remains focused on securing a Le Mans entry.
“I have discovered now that it's a whole new world and there is pre-Le Mans and post-Le Mans,” he said. “Pre-Le Mans is focused on this and getting it off the ground and post-Le Mans, we have some irons on the fire and hopefully I can go out and drive before the end of the year.”