The British Ginetta sportscar brand have announced their intention to design and build an LMP1 World Endurance Championship specification prototype in readiness for the 2018 FIA WEC season. With a strong pedigree in many disciplines of motorsport, not least of which is founding member status of the LMP3 classification launched in 2015, the Leeds based marque have confirmed today that they intend to produce a minimum of 10 customer specification chassis built to the new LMP1 regulations. With a strong in house design team already, the manufacturer have also confirmed they have enlisted the aid of technical genius Adrian Reynard to lead aerodynamic development and Paolo Catone, who previously designed the Le Mans winning Peugeot 908, will also be heavily involved in Ginetta LMP1 design. Ginetta have confirmed the new LMP1 machine will be designed and built entirely from scratch, with interest in the new machine expected to be high amongst both its existing customer base and teams looking to step up to the premier class of prototype endurance racing. It has been rumoured that current G57 customers PRT Racing and ARC Bratislava are already showing an interest, with testing due to begin shortly after this years showcase 24 hour race at Le Mans in June. “I’m hugely thankful to the ACO for the opportunity to run at the front and challenge for overall podiums" said Ginetta Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson. "The Ginetta design team’s ability has already been proven by the class dominating Ginetta LMP3 and G57. With Adrian and Paolo on board, the performance of the Ginetta LMP1 is going to be amazing. 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 has further confirmed they are in advanced talks with engine supplier MECACHROME as well as gearbox manufacturers Xtrac for the drive train. The car will be around 60kg lighter than a P2 and have up to 200BHP more. Accompanied with the huge downforce that their new aerodynamic team will develop, Ginetta is confident this will be a class-leading car. Pierre Fillon, ACO President had the following to say on todays announcement: “More great news for endurance racing! Ginetta has proven its expertise in creating successful high performance chassis in G57 and Ginetta LMP3 categories and entering LMP1, the top tier category of endurance racing, appears now to be an obvious move for Ginetta as it moves forward. The valued expertise of Ginetta’s partners for this programme is also very promising for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship.” With the World Endurance Championship struggling somewhat in the wake of Audi Sport withdrawing at the end of the previous season, the announcement will no doubt come as a boost to the championship as they look to increase participation in an LMP1 class that looks to contain just Porsche and Toyota for 2017. Ginetta will not be running a factory team but will be looking to build ten chassis to support three, two-car teams run by customers. You can catch more FIA World Endurance Championship news and discussions by visiting our WEC sub forum right here at RaceDepartment. Pop over and get yourself in on the conversation today! Are you happy to see Ginetta step up their design capacity and create a vehicle for the LMP1 class in WEC? How do you think the car will fare against works teams such as Porsche and Toyota? Let us know in the comments section below!