Photo: Ginetta Cars

Manor TRS LMP1 entry with Ginetta confirmed

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Manor and TRS Racing have confirmed a step-up from LMP2 into LMP1 for the FIA World Endurance Championship’s new 2018-2019 “Super Season,” as part of the quest to attract new privateer entries into the category.

The Manor team will do so with Ginetta Cars, although the engine selection nor number of cars it will field are to be determined. Manor, entered under the CEFC Manor TRS Racing banner this season, has fielded two Oreca 07 Gibsons in the LMP2 class, for its second year in FIA WEC.

“I think that the LMP1 category provides a fantastic challenge for us but we can rely on a lot of experience gained over the years, in particular those spent in Formula 1, relating to the management of the design, research, testing and development processes that are so important for a successful LMP1 team,” said Graeme Lowdon, Manor Endurance Racing Sporting Director.

Lawrence Tomlinson, Chairman, Ginetta Cars, added: “I am delighted with the confirmation of the selection by TRS Racing and Manor Endurance Racing of the Ginetta LMP1 for their program.  The opportunities for all involved here are tremendous, for Ginetta, for the team, and for their backers. To take on endurance racing at this level is one of the toughest technical challenges in the world.  It’s great to have a racing partner who relishes those challenges just as much as we do.”

The FIA WEC “Super Season” begins next May in Spa-Francorchamps, before the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans next June 16-17. Both Spa and Le Mans feature twice on the revised two-year calendar.

The Manor LMP1 news comes only a day after DragonSpeed’s announced plans to step up as well. With lone manufacturer Toyota also evaluating a return, the car count in LMP1 might not be as bad as initially feared.

Eriksson snatches Macau Formula 3 pole from Norris

FIA F3 Europe
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Joel Eriksson snatched pole position for Saturday’s qualifying race ahead of the Macau Grand Prix after a thrilling fight with McLaren youngster Lando Norris and Ferrari junior Callum Ilott.

Norris headed into the second stage of qualifying on provisional pole after lapping almost a second faster than any other driver in Thursday’s first opening session, and remained in contention early in Q2.

Norris was the first driver to dip into the 2:10s with a time of 2:10.744, only for Eriksson to go 0.024 seconds faster minutes later and snatch pole away.

Despite a later effort to try and reclaim pole, Norris was unable to improve his time, and opted to remain in the pits for the final five minutes of the session after using up his allocated tires.

Ilott was the final driver to put in a serious bid for pole position, falling 0.09 seconds short with his final qualifying lap to sit third on the grid for the qualifying race.

Maximilian Gunther claimed fourth place for Prema Powerteam ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Dan Ticktum, with Mick Schumacher taking P7.

Yuhi Sekiguchi wound up eighth despite a late crash that brought out a red flag, while Sergio Sette Camara and Guanyu Zhou completed the top 10 positions in qualifying.

Saturday’s qualifying race will help form the grid for Sunday’s main event, the 64th Macau Grand Prix.