Ginetta to build LMP3 cars after buying Juno
|By Scott Mitchell||Thursday, August 7th 2014, 08:00 GMT|
British manufacturer Ginetta will build cars for the cost-capped LMP3 formula set to be introduced next season.
Marque chief Lawrence Tomlinson has purchased the Juno Racing Cars firm set up by ex-Williams Formula 1 employee Ewan Baldry, who has joined Ginetta as its new technical director as part of the takeover.
The sports-prototype and Formula Ford constructor's existing operations have already been relocated to Ginetta's Yorkshire base, where the 420bhp ORECA-powered Ginetta-Juno LMP3 will be built.
Further details of the car will be announced when the Automobile Club de l'Ouest finalises its engine and gearbox configurations, with mandatory composite monocoques the only current confirmation.
It is hoped that as many as six Ginetta-Junos will be built for next year, when LMP3 will replace the unsuccessful single-make LMPC class in the European and Asian Le Mans Series.
LMP3s will be capped at €195,000 (£154,000) as part of the organiser's plan for an LMP2 feeder category, with a target budget of £300,000 for a five-round ELMS campaign.
"It's fantastic, I really like Ewan - which I think is important - and there's some fantastic synergy between the two companies," Tomlinson, who drove Ginetta's last LMP at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2009 and also won the GT2 class in the 2006 edition of the French enduro, told AUTOSPORT.
"We're no stranger to prototypes. This is an opportunity for us to go back into that area and is similar to what we've done in other categories - what the ACO wanted to do is exactly what we're doing. It's a perfect fit."
Baldry had targeted an independent LMP3 effort for Juno at the start of year alongside building carbon FIA CN prototypes.
He said the deal would allow him to concentrate on both the new car's design and managing Ginetta's day-to-day technical responsibilities.
"We'd been looking at moving up the ladder but Juno has always struggled a little bit for resources," Baldry explained.
"This seemed like an ideal opportunity. In the past we've had to work with a team and we'd have had to do that again."
For more on Ginetta's Juno buyout and LMP3 plans, plus our verdict on the news, see this week's AUTOSPORT magazine - available in shops and online now