Ginetta returns to Le Mans

Ginetta returns to Le Mans in 2018.

The British sportscar manufacturer announced today that they are working on a LMP1 car for next season.

They won’t participate as a factory team, but will only be building the car and let privateers fight among other privateer cars. So there won’t be any hybrid system on the car, which makes it easier and cheaper for a team to run than the works cars from Porsche and Toyota, who can’t be operated without specialists from the marques being there. We have seen that time and time again, that race control decides to send out a pair of mechanics to help shutting of the hybrid system in case of a stoppage on the track, so the marshals can remove the car safely.

Ginetta, and the people behind the brand, has a long history with Le Mans. In 2005 the brand was acquired by Lawrence Tomlinson – and the year after he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but that was in a Panoz in GT2. After that, we had to wait a few years for the next showing of Ginetta in the French classic. In 2009 they appeared in LMP1 with a Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S, and showed good speed but a lack of reliability. In 2010 the brand could put a feather in their cap after Beechdean-Mansell Motorsport chose to run the car with brothers Leo and Greg Mansell along with their dad, Nigel. That made a huge interest about that car, but unfortunately it ended shortly into the race, after Nigel suffered a puncture at high speed and had to retire. Later in the year Leo and Greg managed to win in the LMS series, where they beat the Kolles Audi R10 Diesel car.

Ginetta LMP1 concept
Photo: Ginetta

Since then we have seen the Ginetta brand being active in LMP2 for some years, and in 2015 they were the first brand to present a LMP3 car. That project was closed down after that season, while they put in an application for the new LMP2 cars. That didn’t materialise so now they have turned their focus into LMP1.

The engine is likely to be a MECACROME, but negotiations are still ongoing.

The will be designed by Adrian Reynard, who was the man behind the Raynard LMP and Indycar races and many others cars, and Paolo Catone, who was designing the Peugeot 908 Le Mans racer. Ginetta has also hired a yet unnamed person who has been involved in a LMP1-H project. But they are not ready to announce him yet.

The testing of the new car will start after this years 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

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