The associated company to the Williams Formula One team, Williams Advanced Engineering has today announced that they will be joining forces with the British constructor Ginetta to assist them with their LMP1 project. Ginetta plan on entering around six LMP1 cars into the 2018 LMP1 Privateer field in the World Endurance Championship.
Ginetta announced intentions to design an LMP1 Privateer car for the 2018 season in January. The project has gained a lot of speed over the last few months, with a collaboration with Merchachrome coming a month into the project with the company supplying V6 engines for the Ginetta chassis. With the car only in the design stages, it is rumoured Ginetta has already sold six of their cars to teams for next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The team has now conducted collaboration with the renowned car designer Adrian Reynard. The new team up will give Ginetta access to the Williams wind tunnel and Reynard’s Auto Research Centre. This adds an extra layer to the hopes that the 2018 Ginetta LMP1 car could have its first real track testing, which Ginetta hopes to begin in June. The drivers listed for developmental track testing are Mike Simpson and Charlie Robertson.
Ginetta said: “A number of CFD runs have already taken place.” CFD, computational fluid dynamics, is much more sophisticated than a wind tunnel. Using a computer generated image, CFD basically allows the designer to get inside their design and do multiple tests on the prototype. CFD allows teams to complete tests that would be extremely expensive if they had to recreate and rebuild the prototype for each test. Using this software, the teams can put the whole car to the test and alter the design before the car is built.
Ginetta technical director Ewan Baldry was energetic about the new collaboration. He stated: “[Williams Advanced Engineering] have an impressive facility, which can run the Ginetta LMP1 model at a full range of ride heights, roll angles, and yawn positions. It’s fantastic to know the Ginetta LMP1 has the opportunity to be tested in the same wind tunnel which has helped Williams win multiple F1 titles.”
The number of units that Ginetta has committed to building in its initial batch is 10 chassis. These will all be available for privateer outfits to purchase and race in the LMP1 Privateer field of the 2018 WEC season. LMP2 team Manor was the first to state an intention of buying the Ginetta/Mecachrome LMP1 car, and it is rumored they will run a two-car team, taking two of the ten chassis from Ginetta next year.