Audi may have dropped out of the top tier of Le Mans prototype racing, but another constructor is stepping up to the class. That manufacturer is Ginetta, which has confirmed it’s intent to enter a new prototype in the FIA World Endurance Championship starting in 2018.
For those unfamiliar, Ginetta is a British firm that specializes in racing cars – and has since 1958. Though its cars have typically competed in lower GT categories, Ginetta has been stepping up into racing prototypes with projects like the LMP2-spec G57 and Ginetta LMP3.
The company was encouraged by new regulations that will allow more latitude in design but freeze the rulebook for five years, making the prospect of stepping up to the big leagues more enticing.
To make it happen, it has brought on legendary chassis constructor Adrian Reynard, Peugeot 908 designer Paolo Catone, and an as-yet unnamed experienced LMP1 aerodynamicist.
Technical specifications have yet to be finalized, but the company says it is in discussions with Mecachrome (an engine manufacturer with strong ties to Renault) and gearbox supplier Xtrac. The car is expected to do without a hybrid powertrain like (and therefor compete in a different sub-class from) the front-running Porsche 919 and Toyota TS050.
That means we can expect the same overall dimensions as the LMP1 hybrids, but with a conventional engine displacing no more than 5.5 liters and a curb weight of at least 1,870 pounds. In short, Ginetta expects its new flagship to produce 200 more horsepower and weigh 132 pounds less than its current LMP2 chassis.