Following the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s (ACO) announcement of the new 2017 LMP1 class rules for the FIA World Endurance Championship, Ginetta has disclosed that it will be an LMP1 chassis manufacture for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship with an all new chassis.
Ginetta has an established relationship with the ACO, largely due to its involvement as the founding manufacturer of the successful LMP3 class in 2015. Despite its failed 2015 LMP2 chassis bid, Ginetta remained a formidable constructor within prototypes. Together with the release of the G57 in 2016 and its highly successful LMP3, Ginetta has made the most of the chance to add an LMP1 offering to the table.
The new 2017 LMP1 rules include a ‘freeze period’ of five years, meaning that no further alteration to the rules will happen for that time. This, along with the new free rein in design, as opposed to the comparatively more controlled formula of LMP2, have given Ginetta the opportunity to start from scratch to ensure a competitive product.
Building off an already established in-house expertise, Ginetta has taken on board motorsport design greats such as Adrian Reynard, founder of the highly successful Reynard Motorsport, to lead aerodynamics development. There’s also a newly hired Head of Aerodynamics that has extensive LMP1-H experience but has yet to be named. Joining them is Paolo Catone, whose previous designs include such examples as the Peugeot 905 and Le Mans–winning 908, is said to be also heavily involved in the creation of the new Ginetta prototype.
Further announcements have been made with regards to the running gear that will be used within the project. Engine supplier MECACHROME along with gearbox manufacture Xtrac have been confirmed to be in talks with Ginetta. Improvements off the LMP2 cars include weight savings of around 60kg, and horsepower increases nearing almost 200 bhp. Paired with the renowned aerodynamic team designing the bodywork of the prototype, Ginetta is not only confident that it will be competitive, but class leading.
This news comes shortly after the conclusion of the inaugural Project CARS x Ginetta Championship. With Project CARS 2 ear-dropped for release towards the latter half of the year, there is all the chance that the new prototype could be added down the line to a possible sequel to the event, especially considering Ginetta’s keen eye on the progression and importance of eSport outside of the gaming industry.
Ginetta has not been included within the Gran Turismo series outside of the sole appearance of the 1964 G4 road car, which shocked many with its absence in the sixth iteration of the franchise. While nothing is known about that absence — along with another fan favourite, the Jensen Interceptor — the chance for the new LMP1 to appear in future GT titles joining existing Toyota and Audi prototype offerings, would be a great bolster for the brand.