British constructor Ginetta has announced it will produce a new LMP1 prototype to be made available to customer teams for the 2018 World Endurance Championship.
The firm, which has established itself as a force in the new LMP3 category, has turned its focus towards the premier LMP1 class after failing in its bid to secure one of the limited spots available to chassis constructors in the revised LMP2 class with its new G57 model.
As such, Ginetta will apply its knowledge to LMP1 instead with an all-new prototype helmed by notable car manufacturer Adrian Reynard, who will work on aero development, and Paolo Catone, who had a significant hand in designing the Le Mans 24 Hours winning Peugeot 908.
“I'm hugely thankful to the ACO for the opportunity to run at the front and challenge for overall podiums,” said Ginetta chairman Lawrence Tomlinson. “The Ginetta design team's ability has already been proven by the class dominating Ginetta LMP3 and G57. With Adrian and Paolo on board, the performance of the Ginetta LMP1 is going to be amazing. We are now offering a genuine ladder for our customers all the way from first race to Le Mans which is incredibly exciting for me.”
Ginetta's decision to enter LMP1 comes following a revision of ACO regulations that are designed to attract more privateer entrants into the top flight following the withdrawal of Audi. As it stands, the LMP1 class features just two manufacturer entrants in Toyota and Porsche.
“More great news for endurance racing,” added ACO president Pierre Fillon. “Ginetta has proven its expertise in creating successful high performance chassis in G57 and Ginetta LMP3 categories and entering LMP1, the top tier category of endurance racing, appears now to be an obvious move for Ginetta as it moves forward. The valued expertise of Ginetta's partners for this programme is also very promising for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship.”
Ginetta confirmed it will not enter LMP1 as a manufacturer entry but will make the as-yet-unnamed car available to customers, with current G57 customers PRT Racing and ARC Bratislava showing an interest. Testing will begin later this year, with talks underway with Mechacrome to supply the engine.