Sponsor issues, Manor out and no-shows. What next?
The sorry story of Ginetta’s involvement in the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship ‘superseason’ has taken another twist with the revelation that the Manor team is no longer involved in the privateer LMP1 project. It follows the a decision not to race at the Spa series opener in May, a disappointing showing at the Le Mans 24 Hours and then a no-show at Silverstone in August.
A single Ginetta G60-LT-P1, now powered by an AER engine rather than the car’s original Mecachrome unit, is entered for the next round of the WEC at Fuji on October 14, but Manor will not be involved. The British team, which put together the programme with the Chinese TRS promotions agency and its sponsor CEFC China Energy, has stated “commercial reasons” are the reason for its non-involvement without elaborating.
The financial drama of the CEFC conglomerate is at the root of the issues for TRSM and Manor. Ginetta, which was already funding a second TRSM entry made for the first three races, had to step in to subside the programme.
The likelihood is that Ginetta will run the car from Fuji. It is saying that TRS is free to chose who it wants to field the car, though the entry is in fact held by a company called TRSM China Motorsport of which Manor sporting director Graeme Lowdon is the sole director. This saga probably has another twist left in it.