Perrinn myTeam claims to be the world’s first open-source race team, and it has big plans. The team plan to enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 with an all-wheel-drive hybrid LMP1 car. That would put the team up against the likes of Audi, Porsche and Toyota, which isn’t a small task from the outset.
The project is the brainchild of Nicholas Perrinn, a former Formula One engineer based in Yorkshire, England. He views the open-source method as an alternative way to attract funding for the Le Mans effort. The project will not be crowd-sourced but Perrinn hopes the digital-centric approach will attract sponsors.
“From my extensive time in F1 and even when I was designing sports cars for others, I saw how secretive motorsport really is, preventing fans, enthusiastic students and engineers from getting involved and learning,” says Perrin. “It doesn’t have to be like that. We can create a true ‘people’s team’ and by opening everything up, we aim to not only build up a fan base that gets involved to improve the car but also attract backers who share our values. We are not an established brand, so we have to do something different. This is a very different way but I believe we can, together get a result.”
Perrinn hopes myTeam will give race fans an opportunity to see what goes into a top-tier operation. Input will be solicited for every decision–from driver choice to the livery of the Le Mans Prototype.
While race teams are generally known for secrecy, there will be large amounts of data available on the myTeam car. This will even go as far as including information on its aerodynamic performance and suspension settings. However having all that information does have advantages, fans will be able to 3D-print a model of the car, or drive a lap in a computer simulator.
With over 10 years’ experience of designing and engineering sports cars, Perrin has already been able to complete a full set of blueprints for his 4WD hybrid LMP1 challenger. This of course is available on the MyTeam website.
“For too long motorsport has not embraced its fans nor nurtured future generations who want to work in motorsport to know what really goes in a team,” claims Perrin. “We can do things differently and show people what is really needed to get a car to Le Mans.”
The project has received substantial support from private investors to complete the design but Perrinn’s task now is to find backers who will enable him to build and test the first car by the end of 2014. “Our fully open book financial model shows we are looking for £2.5m in the first year. It is all planned and costed. At this stage everything is possible, including naming the car and team. Backers will have access to our sharing community and be part of a concept not seen anywhere else, I think that is very special,” concludes Perrin.
Perrinn will look to tour this summer with appearances in London, Paris and Zurich to raise the 8.5 million pounds (around $14 million) needed to make the car ready.