Strakka Racing, is set to develop its own privateer LMP1 car for the 2017 World Endurance Championship, Motorsport.com can reveal.
Thus the team is set to switch chassis for the remainder of the 2015 WEC season, from its regular Dome S103 to a Gibson 015S which has been acquired from Greaves Motorsport.
The change will see the team testing the Gibson for the first time later this month at Nurburgring. It will then make its competitive debut at the same track, in the fourth round of the championship, at the end of August.
The Dome will be converted to an LMP1 spec car and be used as a development vehicle for the new LMP1 program to be based on.
Strakka Racing has had a tough start to the WEC season despite taking a third position at its home race at Silverstone in April.
A switch to Dunlop rubber after the Spa race in May preceded the latest change to its 2015 programme, for which they had to get special dispensation from the FIA and ACO in order to make the chassis change.
New LMP2 regs prompted switch
The new car will draw upon advances in 3D printing and additive manufacturing that Strakka Racing has pioneered to shorten manufacturing lead times and reduce project costs, both of which are part of Strakka’s long-term business goals.
The team has also recently expanded its facilities and in-house capabilities close to Silverstone.
“The 2017 LMP2 regulation changes that restrict the number of chassis manufacturers meant we had to evaluate our current business strategy and seriously look at projects that would enable us to draw on the experiences we have from our LMP2 car,” team principal Dan Walmsley said.
“After evaluating all the options, the LMP1 Privateers’ category now offers the best arena to create our own car, which we will use to showcase our growing knowledge of new design and manufacturing processes to build a cost effective car in the shortest time frame.
"Strakka Racing is continuing to develop and this will be another step forward to becoming a true sustainable motorsports business," Walmsley concluded.
Strakka Racing will now start work on defining the architecture including selecting an engine partner with the utilisation of the Dome S103 permitting accelerated development in time for a 2017 launch.
Greaves Motorsport will continue to field its other Gibson-Nissan in the remainder of the ELMS for Gary Hirsch, Jon Lancaster and Bjorn Wirdheim.
The winners of the opening race at Silverstone currently sit second in the standings, two points adrift of leaders Tristan Gommendy, Pierre Thiriet and Ludovic Badey.