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Manor admits interest in future LMP1 move

Manor WEC boss John Booth doesn’t rule out the British squad moving up the LMP1 class some time in the future.

Manor admits interest in future LMP1 move
#44 Manor Oreca 05 - Nissan: Tor Graves, Matthew Rao, Will Steves, James Jakes
John Booth, Manor Marussia F1 Team Team Principal
#44 Manor Oreca 05 - Nissan: Tor Graves, Matthew Rao, Will Steves, James Jakes
#12 Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One AER: Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld, Nelson Piquet Jr.
#44 Manor Oreca 05 - Nissan: Tor Graves, Matthew Rao, Will Steves, James Jakes
John Booth, Team Principal, Manor F1 Team
#44 Manor Oreca 05 - Nissan: Tor Graves, Matthew Rao, Will Steves, James Jakes
John Booth, Manor F1 Team Team Principal with Graeme Lowdon, Manor F1 Team Chief Executive Officer and Will Stevens, Manor F1 Team
#44 Manor Oreca 05 - Nissan: Tor Graves, Matthew Rao, Will Steves, James Jakes

The team, run by former Manor F1 chiefs Booth and Graeme Lowdon, is making its debut in the World Endurance Championship at the 6 Hours of Silverstone this weekend, fielding two Oreca 05-Nissans in the highly competitive LMP2 class.

Booth admits that he would be interested in making the step to the highest level of prototype racing, but only when rules would allow non-works entries to be more competitive than they are at the moment.

"It’s interesting to see where the regulations are going the next couple of years”, Booth told Motorsport.com. “The LMP1 non-works cars seem to be stuck in a gap in the middle.

"Unless regulations change they can’t compete with the overall [pacesetters]. Then we wouldn’t have much interest in it. But yes, for sure, let’s see how regulations go.”

Asked if a LMP1 move would solely depend on future regulations changes, Booth replied: “Well, regulations, opportunity, budget. There are lots of factors. But we would be interested for sure.”

Earning respect

As far as ambitions for for the foreseeable future go, Booth states: “To be regarded by our peers in the pit lane as a very good professional team.

"With everything we have ever been in we tried to present ourselves in the best possible way and we looked after ourselves in the best possible way.

"We want to earn the respect from a lot of people in the pit lane. That’s exactly what we intend to do in WEC.”

Booth is happy with the team he and Lowdon managed to put together in the short amount of time they gave themselves to prepare.

“It’s amazing how many people you get to know over the years”, Booth said. “I don’t think we ever advertised for a job.

"People came to us when word got out what we were doing. People we knew, people we didn’t know. I won’t say it’s easy [setting up the team] but I’m certainly very happy with the team we’ve put together.”

Fast learning

Manor doesn’t see 2016 as a learning year. The team wants to be competitive from the get-go. Booth: “We do have to learn but we’re gonna learn fast.

"Silverstone will be one step, Spa will be another step and then Le Mans. Every time out we want to ramp up our performance.”

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Series WEC
Teams Manor Motorsport
Author Erwin Jaeggi
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