Manor LMP1 team expects 'painful' Le Mans 24 Hours qualifying

Manor LMP1 sporting director Graeme Lowdon admits Le Mans 24 Hours qualifying is likely to be "painful" for his Ginetta team given its lack of competitive running

Manor LMP1 team expects 'painful' Le Mans 24 Hours qualifying

The two Mecachrome-powered Ginetta G60-LT-P1s were pulled from last month's Spa World Endurance Championship opener amid cashflow problems stemming from financial trouble for Chinese sponsors CEFC and TRS.

While the Manor cars ran as normal during the Le Mans test day, they were well off the pace, with Oliver Rowland ending up 8.682 seconds down on the lead Toyota in the #6 Ginetta.

Both Ginettas were also slower than the two lead runners in the LMP2 class, as well as being the slowest of all the prototypes in the speed traps.

Lowdon played down the LMP2 factor but conceded Manor's focus would be on ensuring reliability at the expense of overall speed.

"There's an EoT [Equivalence of Technology rule] pulling us back from the Toyota, but nothing to push us forward from the LMP2s," Lowdon told Autosport.

"The car could go quicker if the rules allowed it.

"With the amount of running we've done, it would be wrong to focus on performance.

"We need to focus on the programme to be able to do a 24-hour race, even if it means qualifying is painful.

"There are huge differences in pitstop times and everything else which are regulated to a certain extent, so I don't think we can look at it as racing the LMP2s.

"They have a different set of regulations altogether. We know how to make one of those go quick around here, and I'm sure a few of the teams here will have a pretty rapid pace."

Lowdon was adamant that the problems that prevented the Manor Ginettas racing at Spa are now resolved, with the CEFC branding that had been present in Belgium now absent.

"Teams are also businesses in their own right, and sometimes we have to make tough business decisions," he said.

"But we're happy that we did the right thing.

"It's not ideal, that's for sure, but it's not something we had any control over in terms of the overall situation.

"Our focus is on purely on what we can control, making sure the cars are prepared and ready.

"We learned a lot at the test day and we'll learn a lot more [in practice and qualifying].

"It's a long season, we've just got to play catch-up a little bit and see where we get to."

shares
comments
Aston Martin gets GTE BoP boost ahead of Le Mans 24 Hours

Previous article

Aston Martin gets GTE BoP boost ahead of Le Mans 24 Hours

Next article

BMW: Le Mans 24 Hours GTE performance tweaks 'difficult to understand'

BMW: Le Mans 24 Hours GTE performance tweaks 'difficult to understand'
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Author Jamie Klein
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021
Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship Plus

Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship

Beyond the slender grid of headline-grabbing hypercars, there are numerous subplots and changes to look out for in the new season of the WEC, which gets underway at Spa this weekend. Here's the seven key things you need to know about

WEC
Apr 30, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Plus

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Plus

How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no works Aston Martins in the GTE-Pro class. As its new era in Formula 1 begins, Aston leaves behind a legacy of success courtesy of its Prodrive-run factory programme that was a hit from the word go in 2005

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021