Remember a few months ago when we were all worried that there might not be any LMP1 cars on the grid at all next year? Yeah, there’s no need to worry now!
Toyota hasn’t officially announced it yet but is pretty much guaranteed to be on the grid with a couple of cars – maybe with Fernando Alonso in one. Manor is going to run a Ginetta, and an as-yet-unnamed team is supposed to be running a couple of Ginettas too. By Kolles is apparently coming back too.
Another team that announced an LMP1 programme is the DragonSpeed squad, though it never announced what chassis it would be using. Now we know it’ll be one of these – the BR Engineering BR1.
The non-hybrid car was unveiled in Bahrain and has been built in collaboration with Dallara. As well as one car for DragonSpeed, two will also be run by the SMP Racing squad – although they’ll have twin-turbo V6 AER engines, whilst DragonSpeed is going to run a naturally-aspirated V8 Gibson unit.
The car has already completed quite a bit of testing in the hands of a whole host of Russian drivers, including Formula F1 driver Vitaly Petrov and current Renault reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin.
BR Engineering president Boris Rotenberg said that more cars will be available for customers too, but on a first come, first served basis.
All-in-all that makes for nine cars in LMP1 next year, with the potential of more to come as well. As the only manufacturer squad, Toyota is probably going to dominate, but we can’t wait to see how the privateer teams will get on!