Due to financial issues, CEFC TRSM Racing will not take part in the first round of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.
After only setting installation laps all weekend and not appearing on track throughout qualifying, it has now been confirmed by the team that they will not go racing this weekend.
The official statement claims that: “Ginetta will not be releasing the two LMP1 cars that successfully ran at the FIA WEC Prologue at Paul Ricard earlier this month. Unfortunately, funds promised have not arrived from TRS (China) to CEFC TRSM Racing (UK).
“The required funds for Ginetta were due some time ago and whilst we understand that TRS (China) has been working with its sponsors to sort the issues, without payment, Ginetta cannot allow the cars to race.”
The announcement highlights that this is an outstanding payment that has been delayed for some time. This would reinforce the rumours that started circulating the paddock this morning that Mecachrome were yet to be paid for supplying their engines to the team.
However, the statement appears to confirm that it is a Manor/Ginetta financial dispute, rather than money troubles between Ginetta an a third party. Is is suggested that, if Ginetta have not paid any of their third parties, it is due to the fact that Manor have not provided them with any funds.
Ginetta are also confirmed in the statement as being committed to their project with Manor, and that TRS have assured Manor this is a short term cash-flow issue.
How this will affect Manor’s 24 Hours of Le Mans entry is yet to be known, but LMP2 entry APM Monaco Team KCMG are ready to set up if the entry spot becomes available.
For the first time this weekend, a verbal statement came out of the Manor/Ginetta camp. Ginetta Chairman, Lawrence Tomlinson, said: “We’ve got to a situation where a UK based team with excellent ability, kit and personnel, plus a pair of the latest LMP1 cars with confirmed and fully paid up entries for the 2018/19 FIA WEC (including two entries at Le Mans in both 2018 & 2019) are unable to race simply due to funds not flowing.”