Ginetta to build top-flight LMP1 Le Mans racer for 2018

Published: 05 January 2017

► Ginetta to build LMP1 chassis for 2018
► Fastest category of endurance sportscar racing
► Will supply ten cars to three customer teams

British racing and sports car specialist Ginetta has announced it will be an official chassis manufacturer for the top-tier LMP1 class in the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

LMP1? That’s serious stuff

It’s as fast as sportscar racing gets. Ginetta has plenty of experience with advanced prototype sports racing cars, however. It was a founding manufacturer in the LMP3 class from 2015 (with Sir Chris Hoy becoming a champion driver in a Ginetta LMP3 car that season), and created the more powerful G57 in 2016.

The LMP1 car will have as much as 200bhp more power than Ginetta’s G57-P2, and be lighter by around 60kg.

Click here to read CAR’s long-term Ginetta G40 test diary.  

Who will Ginetta be competing against in LMP1?

Ginetta won’t be fielding a factory team, but plans to supply its chassis to three customer teams, running a pair of cars each. Its aim is to provide a competitive car for privateer teams looking to square up to the LMP1 establishment in 2018.

Porsche, Audi and Toyota dominated the LMP1 class in the 2017 WEC, with Porsche scraping a last-gasp win in the blue-ribbon Le Mans 24 Hours when the leading Toyota succumbed to technical difficulties on the penultimate lap. Audi has since announced its exit from the World Endurance Championship, to concentrate on a Formula E campaign.

New LMP1 rules for 2017  

Ginetta says its LMP1 car has been redesigned from scratch compared with its G57-P2, to take advantage of the more open regulations in LMP1.

Famous racing car designer Adrian Reynard is involved with the project, leading the car’s aerodynamic development, as is Paulo Catone, who designed Peugeot’s Le Mans-winning 908.

Building on their current in-house expertise, Ginetta has brought legendary car manufacturer Adrian Reynard on-board to lead the aero development, along with a newly recruited Head of Aerodynamics who brings LMP1-H experience and will be named in due course.  Paolo Catone, who previously designed the Le Mans winning Peugeot 908, will also be heavily involved in Ginetta LMP1 design.

‘With Adrian and Paolo on board, the performance of the Ginetta LMP1 is going to be amazing,’ says Ginetta Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson. ‘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 LMP1 car will begin its initial testing after the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Inside Ginetta: a guided tour of the British sports car maker’s HQ

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer