The news of Strakka Racing and Greaves Motorsport’s plans to launch privateer LMP1 efforts in LMP1 season were universally welcomed. With just three cars on the LMP1 privateer grid this season, the addition of two new teams would have been a boon to the ailing category. But as dailysportscar.com reported yesterday, the plans have since been postponed indefinitely.
Strakka Racing confirmed last weekend at the 6 Hours of Shanghai that it would be putting its plans to develop the Dome S103 LMP2 car into an LMP1 machine on ice, citing the gap in performance to the factory LMP1 cars and the volume of costs involved. Talks are ongoing, so all hope of a Strakka LMP1 effort is not lost.
Greaves Motorsport, on the other hand, has completed abandoned its plans to enter LMP1 in 2016. Talks had centered on the team entering an Oreca or Rebellion chassis next season in partnership with SARD, but they appear to have come to nothing. Greaves were recently crowned 2015 European Le Mans Series championships at the final round in Estoril.
With only the two current LMP1 privateer teams – Rebellion Racing and ByKolles – even entertaining prospect of committing to LMP1 moving forward and a raft of controversial changes to LMP2 coming in 2017, it remains to be seen where this latest disappointment leaves privateer LMP1 racing. If the ACO’s desire was to push teams into LMP1 by restricting the number of chassis and engines in LMP2, then it certainly does not appear to be working.
Image source: WEC-Magazin / Walter Schruff