Manor to step up to LMP1 in 2018

The Manor Racing FIA World Endurance Championship team has revealed it will add a customer LMP1 program in 2018. The U.K.-based program has chosen the recently announced Ginetta LMP1 privateer chassis for its expansion into the top WEC class.

"This is the ideal program to take our sports car racing program forward," Manor's team president Graeme Lowdon told DailySportsCar.com. "We are looking for a project that plays to our team's strength, our ability to contribute to the development of a race car and to use that to develop talent on and off the track, and to challenge for results.

"LMP1 offers more flexibility to have development input into the package and we certainly would see ourselves as partners rather than simple customers in a program like this."

Lowdon expects the British Ginetta LMP1 chassis to bolster its current LMP2 effort.

"It's the ideal next step on the ladder to our current LMP2 program, it gives us an opportunity to offer our customers a directly relevant and challenging step up the ladder whist keeping them within the Manor family," he said. "Everything we have seen of the program so far is encouraging. The right people, the right package and, from what we have seen thus far, a very competitive commercial package."

With the LMP1 Hybrid class suffering from a poor car count after Audi Sport's withdrawal, Lowdon believes privateer LMP1s like the Ginetta will help customer teams to replenish the WEC's marquee class.

"If this program goes where it should I really do believe it could help to unlock this marketplace," he added. We'd love to be a part of the vanguard of that, to further establish ourselves in this area of the sport."

The Ginetta chassis will be powered by an endurance racing version of Mecachrome's turbocharged V6 engine with direct-injection added to improve fuel mileage.

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