GROUP NATIONAL EDITOR
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”