LMP2 a natural fit for Caterham - Mike Gascoyne
|By Gary Watkins||Monday, June 17th 2013, 16:32 GMT|
A move into the LMP2 division is the perfect fit for British sportscar manufacturer Caterham, according to company design chief Mike Gascoyne.
Gascoyne, head of the Caterham's Technology & Innovation arm, explained that building an LMP2 for the customer market makes sound business sense for the group.
His comments follow the revelation earlier this month that Caterham was evaluating a P2 project on the launch of its first involvement in the category in next weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours as a sponsor of the Greaves Motortsport Zytek squad.
"We have the facilities, we have the design team and we have the partners, so it is a natural for us," said Gascoyne, who was formerly chief technical officer of the Caterham (nee Team Lotus) Formula 1 team.
"The Caterham Motorsport ladder is based on the Seven and then there is a GP2 and the F1 team. LMP2 would fit in well in between."
Gascoyne suggested that Caterham is well placed to build LMP2 chassis at a profit, something that the majority of existing constructors claim they struggle to achieve.
"For a company like Zytek, which has to put its carbon work out, it is a very difficult business in which to make money," he explained.
"We have a design team and a composite department where the overheads are already paid for, plus it would add commercial value to the company."
Gascoyne stressed that no decisions have been made beyond the company's Le Mans sponsorship deal with Greaves, with which Caterham Racing GP2 driver Alexander Rossi has been placed for the 24 Hours.
"There are no firm commitments, but there is definitely an intention to move forward," he said. "In terms of working with Zytek, providing a body update could make sense."
That suggests that Caterham is considering a badging deal, because a new body would not be possible before the end of 2015 unless the Zytek Z11SN were renamed and rehomologated in much the same way as OAK's LMP2 chassis when it became a Morgan for 2012.
Caterham is also looking at continuing it relationship with Greaves, which is running in both the World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series.
Gascoyne said: "We are talking to other drivers and hope the arrangement can continue this year and expand into next year."