Ginetta, A Yorkshire Brand As Strong As It's Tea.
Does Ginetta stand out to you as a strong British Racing Manufacture?
To answer the question, Yes it should do and not only if you follow the BTCC with them supporting the race weekends, but how much do you know about them?
Ginetta was founded in 1958 by four brothers from the Walklett family in Suffolk. The four brothers all brought something to the table with one being the managing director, another a mechanical engineer and also did the electrical work, the other two were a designer and stylist. I mean what more could you need to start a sports car brand?
Their first car which would become the known as the G1 was a glass fibre body shell for fitting to a Ford 6.0 or 7.5kW chassis which was based on the Wolsey Hornet Six. During the Walklett's ownership they moved from Suffolk to Essex, back to Suffolk and Scunthorpe to expand their brand and increase their production. During this time they had built models from the G2 to G3. and G4 as shown below.
Roger Coote in the Ginetta G4 at Wiscombe Hillclimb
The G4 had a glass fibre GT Style body with coil springing suspension at the front with a Ford live axle at the rear. The G4 was unfortantley not suitable as a everyday car however it was still competitive in motorsport with several successes on the track. In 1963 they launched a coupe version along-side an open-top version with a BMC axle which replaced the Ford axle at the rear, with a top speed of 120mph. In the last version pop up headlights were added, production of the G4 ended in 1968 but in 1981 a series IV was launched with a longer and wider body.
In 1989 the brothers sold the company through to a group of international enthusiasts which was run by managing director Martin Phaff which was based in Sheffield, however during their ownership the company ran into financial difficulty. Le Mans winning entrepreneur Lawrence Tomlinson bought Ginetta in 2005 under the company LNT Automotive, with his aim to produce innovative, capable and great value sports car which i think its safe to say they have achieved this. In 2007 Tomlinson moved the factory to its present location in Leeds, it is here he went on to create the specification for the G50 a 3.5 litre V6 which was a celebration of the 50 years of Ginetta and it also went on to being a successful GT4 car, which won the Dubai 24 endurance race in 2012 with Optimum Motorsport.
Ginetta LMP1 at Silverstone World Endurance Championship
Tomlinson has brought Ginetta into the forefront of motorsport supporting the British Touring Car Championship with multiple Ginetta Championships and it provides some fantastic close racing. They have also been involved in Le Mans 24hours appear in LMP2 & LMP1 and with Team LNT. He has built Ginetta's core to be a racing ladder which provides a race car and championship or every level from juniors and those looking to start their racing career at the older years, as well as those already experienced wishing to develop their skills. Ginetta has proven to have a successful driver development having famous drivers come through their ranks such as Lando Norris. Their drivers benefit from the companies own dedicated in house Sim track and rack track at Blyton Park as well as some 1:1 tuition from Ginetta LMP1 works drivers.
Trevor McMaster in his Ginetta G32
The latest offering from the Yorkshire company is the G56 GTA which is an entry level for those wishing to have a new track day car or for those at the GT academy level. It has a top speed of 140mph with a 3.7 litre V6 engine that can produce a 270BHP, it promises to have a 50/50 balanced weight distribution and torque, as well as low running costs and high reliability. So lets start looking for the cash behind the sofa to buy one.
All photos in the article taken by myself.