Ginetta is set to begin building its first LMP1 car as early as next week, the UK-based company’s technical director Ewan Baldry has told RACER.
This comes after pictures were released by Ginetta last week of the first Mecachrome LMP1 engine being delivered to its Garforth factory for use in its development chassis.
“Parts are arriving every day for the first car, the first tub and full bodywork will be with us by the end of next week so from that point forward we can move from sub-assembly to full build,” he told RACER in the Bahrain paddock. “The last major component that we are expecting is the first gearbox; that arrives the following week.
“Against our current expectations we anticipate the first car having its first [straight-line] running during the second week in December ahead of extensive testing.
“Alongside all of that we’ve just completed a fifth series of sessions in the [Williams Advanced Engineering] wind tunnel. Not on the primary bodywork, that work was completed some time ago, but on the fine tuning and adjustability of the package. We are very excited about the results.
“The Ginetta in-house team is responsible for the assembly, but we’ve invited Graeme [Lowdon, Manor’s sporting director] to send some of his guys to observe and assist. That’s good for them as they work up their program.”
At present the first car has been designated Ginetta’s development machine, with TRS Racing/Manor’s car next up; the former F1 team having committed to purchasing at least one chassis for use in the 2018/19 season. RACER believes that the team will make a decision on purchasing a second chassis once the car’s performance and reliability has been proven in testing.
“That’s a very sensible stance from them,” Baldry continued. “And a great incentive for us to prove the car. It’s a very exciting time. We’re very confident that we have something very special, now it’s time to show everyone how special.”
RACER also understands that at least one further potential LMP1 customer is considering purchasing a Ginetta, meaning that the early test performance of the car therefore could determine whether the brand can sell more chassis for the 2018/19 FIA WEC ‘Super Season’.