The FIA World Endurance Championship field will only have 34 cars running, when the 6 Hours of Silverstone will be run in two weeks’ time.
The CEFC TRSM Racing team, formerly known as Manor, has pulled out of the race weekend.
In a press release issued by Ginetta today, the constructor of the car, the British racing car manufacturer explains that there will be a change of engine in the cars from a Mecachrome to an AER P60B, which is also being used by SMP Racing in their LMP1 cars.
The Mecachrome engine, which is also in the latest generation of Formula 2 cars, was presented by Ginetta alongside the car back in April 2017, at a press conference at Silverstone.
According to the press release issued today, the engine lacks a lot of power, and Mecachrome aren’t willing to do the necessary updates, making the car faster, so it can follow the other LMP1 car in the FIA WEC.
All this has been communicated by Ginetta, while CEFC TRSM Racing hasn’t released anything yet.
Manor got CEFC as title sponsor ahead of the 2018 season, but the Chinese company hasn’t done their obligation as a sponsor, so there hardly was any testing ahead of the season. The second car for the team was assembled in the garage during the Prologue in April at Paul Ricard, and both cars only did limited racing, and was far off the pace.
The team only did one lap in each session at Spa Francorchamps in May, before they pulled out of the event Friday evening, still due to lack of funding from the Chinese sponsors.
They appeared at the Le Mans test day, which was plagued by technical issues, but they did manage to do some laps. The team was economically supported by Ginetta, securing their Le Mans participation.
The Le Mans week itself didn’t go much better, and only one of the cars managed to qualify ahead of the LMP2 field, while the other had to line up behind 4 of the slower (in theory!) LMP2 cars.
Only one car saw the chequered flag after the 24 hours, but was 105 laps down – equivalent to 6 hours behind the winning Toyota Gazoo Racing #8.
It’s a great shame for the drivers and the other employees at Manor, but it’s also a thorn in the eye on Ginetta, who won’t be able to run at the home race, and thereby won’t be able to showcase their product.
There were rumours around Le Mans time for a possible third car at Silverstone – but now we don’t have any Ginetta G60-LT-P1 on the entry list.
We still wait for a reaction from the FIA WEC and ACO, who most likely are frustrated over the CEFC TRSM Racing, having now only raced in one of the first three rounds of the season. The teams will go to Japan and China, while 2019 will start at Sebring, before returning to Spa Francorchamps and Le Mans for the season finale. The question is, will CEFC TRSM Racing be allowed to be part of those races, or if they will have their entry withdrawn by the organizers prior to that.