ROB LAD­BROOK

GROUP NA­TIONAL EDITOR

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

The Ginetta G57: What’s the point?

That’s es­sen­tially the ques­tion I asked the firm’s boss Lawrence Tom­lin­son im­me­di­ately af­ter he pulled the cov­ers away from his new baby at the Au­tosport In­ter­na­tional Show.

In a nut­shell, the G57 is an LMP3 car on steroids. When Ginetta and Juno founder Ewan Baldry be­gan work on its orig­i­nal LMP3 de­sign, the car was al­ways heav­ily re­stricted due to the man­dated specs set by the ACO and FIA. The cars weren’t meant to be as quick as LMP2 ma­chines, so had heav­ily re­stricted Nis­san en­gines and lim­ited aero­dy­nam­ics aimed at pre­par­ing driv­ers for the next step up the pro­to­type lad­der. Think of LMP3 as a ‘ju­nior’ pro­to­type. But the chas­sis has al­ways been very ca­pa­ble. It’s crash tested to the same stan­dards as LMP1, and is eas­ily ca­pa­ble of han­dling more power.

Ginetta has taken the de­sign and heav­ily mod­i­fied it to un­lock that po­ten­tial. Gone is the 420bhp Nis­san unit, re­placed by a 580bhp 6.2-litre Chevro­let en­gine and the car wears a very dif­fer­ent aero pack­age. Ginetta says the G57 will be up to three sec­onds per lap faster than an LMP2 car. All well and good, but what’s it for? That’s the tricky bit, but Tom­lin­son coolly replied: “When we un­veiled the G50 that wasn’t ho­molo­gated for any­thing and peo­ple asked what we’d do with that. But that went on to be­come one of the best-sell­ing and suc­cess­ful sportscars in na­tional mo­tor­sport. I see the same mar­ket po­ten­tial for the G57. I mean, where else can you get a real pro­to­type sportscar that’s quicker than LMP2 for £200,000?” Touche, Mr Tom­lin­son, touche. If there’s one mar­que you can back to make a new de­sign con­cept work, it is Ginetta. The firm has es­tab­lished it­self as one of the lead­ing rac­ing car man­u­fac­tur­ers in the world, with a ded­i­cated client base and its fin­ger on the trends of global mo­tor­sport.

There is a gap for the G57. Re­gard­less of its early stages, LMP3 will al­ways be a lim­ited mar­ket­place. Un­til it can race at Le Mans or in the FIA World En­durance Cham­pi­onship, LMP3 will be lim­ited to a few cars in the Euro­pean Le Mans Se­ries. Ginetta’s de­ci­sion to re­pur­pose its de­sign to widen that mar­ket is sen­si­ble busi­ness.

Ginetta can tap into the track day mar­ket, less re­stricted sportscar classes such as Vdev or the In­ter­na­tional GT Open, or even ul­ti­mately cre­ate its own sportscar feeder class. With a car boast­ing that much per­for­mance for that price the po­ten­tial is there. And it’s not like Ginetta hasn’t done it be­fore – look at its Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship and GT4 Su­per­cup. Why couldn’t an ex­tra rung be placed at the top of that lad­der? Watch this space.

“Peo­ple asked what the G50 would do”

Ginetta G50 went on to be­come a huge suc­cess

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