Ginetta has announced that it will supply an LMP1 chassis for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship season.
The move follows the announcement of new rules in 2017 for LMP1 cars, which will see a regulation freeze for five years and changes for privateers in a bid to close up the field.
Ginetta's programme won't be a full works effort, instead the Yorkshire-based manufacturer will offer factory support to privateer teams with 10 cars set to be produced.
Ginetta was one of the original LMP3 manufacturers wihen the category was introduced back in 2015 and applied to become one of the four LMP2 chassis builders for the new-for-2017 rules package, only to be rejected in favour of Dallara, Onroak Automotive (Ligier), Oreca and a joint-venture between Riley Tech and Multimatic who produce Ford's GT race and road cars.
"I’m hugely thankful to the ACO for the opportunity to run at the front and challenge for overall podiums," said Ginetta boss Lawrence Tomlinson. "The Ginetta design team’s ability has already been proven by the class dominating Ginetta LMP3 and G57."
"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," he added.
The project will see legendary designer Adrian Reynard lead aero development, along with Paolo Catone who designed the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP which won 20 out of 30 races contested, including the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ginetta has also recruited a new head of aerodynamics "who brings LMP1-H experience and will be named in due course".
The company has also confirmed it is in "advanced talks" with GP2 and GP3 engine builder Mechachrome as well as gearbox manufacturer Xtrac.
Ginetta's announcement is a shot in the arm for LMP1 which has had to endure the recent exits of Audi and Rebellion Racing from the class.
Porsche and Toyota remain as full factory teams, with SMP Racing-backed BR Engineering working with Dallara on a new LMP1 project while ByKolles is also expected to remain.
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