Manor's new WEC operation has LMP1 asprations, says Graeme Lowdon

Former Manor Formula 1 team sporting director Graeme Lowdon says his new LMP2 sportscar operation aspires to compete in LMP1, potentially running a manufacturer programme

Manor's new WEC operation has LMP1 asprations, says Graeme Lowdon

After splitting from the F1 outfit they established in 2010 at the end of last year, Lowdon and John Booth have moved to the World Endurance Championship, with their new Manor Endurance Racing team.

How the 'real' Manor was reborn in LMP2

It will make its debut this weekend at Silverstone, running a pair of ORECA-Nissan 05s primarily driven by Manor single-seater alumni.

The structure of the class made it an attractive first step in sportscars, and Lowdon says the top-tier could be an option for Manor down the line.

"LMP1 is clearly designed for manufacturers and while that holds an interest for the future, there was no way we could pull a project like that together in time," he told Autosport.

"LMP2 offered a number of advantages in terms of putting a new team together.

"We didn't have to spend time designing and manufacturing the car and it offered a world championship arena for us to compete purely as a racing team.

"We're looking at a number of different opportunities for the future.

"There's a lot happening in motor-racing at the minute, there's going to be a lot of change over the next few years."

Porsche, Audi and Toyota headline LMP1 with their manufacturer programmes, but privateer outfits ByKolles and Rebellion compete as privateers, something of a halfway house between the outright competition and LMP2.

Lowdon acknowledges that any change to those regulations maybe help shape Manor's future endeavours.

"There are interesting times ahead, depending on how the LMP1 Light or privateer LMP1 regulations pan out," he says.

"And there could be an opportunity there with a manufacturer in future.

"In F1, we gained some very good experience about what's required to set up a sensible manufacturing or design base, so everything is possible.

"That knowledge stands us in good stead for the future. It could be five or 10 years before we do anything, because it's going to depend a lot on what changes in that time.

"But we're well placed to look at the best opportunities and decide what is the best way to take the business in.

"In the short term, the focus is on racing the LMP2 cars."

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