22 May 2019 has been a day with both positive and not so positive news for the FIA World Endurance Championship 2019/20 season.
BMW Motorsport sent out a press release around midday, where they confirmed the rumours, that has been present for a long time. When the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019 has finished, they will no longer be in the championship as a works team. It’s still unclear if they cars will be made available for private teams to run it them in GTE Pro or more likely, GTE Am.
They confirmed that their IMSA programme would continue in the coming season, so it’s just the FIA WEC part that ends for now. That is after just a single season in the FIA WEC, where the M8 GTE model made its debut at the Prologue at Paul Ricard in April 2018.
BMW has been critical towards their BOP, which they didn’t think was fair towards their cars. They actually had to redesign the cars all the way back in the design process, where one of their applications for a waiver was denied. They hast just managed to get on the podium once in 7 race weekends, when the 1000 Miles of Sebring was run two months ago. They were close to winning the race, but a late Safety Car period didn’t give them the chance to race to the chequered flag.
The programme has been more successful in the USA, where they won the Daytona 24 Hours this year amongst other things. It’s a great pity for the GTE Pro category to lose BMW, since Ford most likely will end their programme too after this season. They haven’t yet confirmed a programme for the future.
But on the other hand, there was positive news from Ginetta.
They have confirmed today, that they have send an application to the ACO, to enter two cars in the FIA WEC 2019/20 season.
The G60-LT-P1 got off to a really bad start, when the CEFC TRSM Racing team bought two cars for the 2018/19 season, but their Chinese main sponsor had a bit of an issue on management level, so they didn’t get their money as promised. So the team haven’t done a single meter since the chequered flag fell at Le Mans 2018.
Ginetta chose to switch engines from Mecachrome to AER, who also supplies engines to SMP Racing.
According to Ginetta, it hasn’t been possible to get the cars on the track for the remaining part of the 2018/19 season, since the ACO has insisted on them paying the fine for CEFC TRSM Racing not showing up to any race meetings since Le Mans 2018. The factory has denied that, and the fine has grown into the the region of 150.000 Euros.
Ginetta has started testing the G60-LT-P1 quite intensively lately, with testing both a Motorland Aragon last month, and Spa Francorchamps this week. One of the drivers who has been present at both tracks has been Anders Fjordbach, but we are still waiting to hear about the line-ups.
TF Sport and Signatech Alpine Matmut have both confirmed a single car entry for the coming season.
But there are limited spaces in the FIA WEC, so Ginetta, TF Sport and Signatech Alpine Matmut all have to be accepted by the ACO and FIA WEC, to be able to run in the 2019/20 season.
The entry list for the upcoming season will be announced during the Le Mans 2019 event.