Caterham has revealed that its deal with the Greaves Motorsport LMP2 squad for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours is part of an evaluation of an entry into the customer prototype market.
The news came on the official unveiling of the Formula 1 team and sports car builder's link-up with Greaves, which will run one of its Zytek-Nissan Z11SN P2s under the Caterham Motorsport banner at the 24 Hours on June 22-23.
Mike Gascoyne, head of the Caterham Group's Technology & Innovation arm, said: "We will be looking in more detail at how our various areas of expertise across both CT&I and Caterham Composites can be applied to a customer prototype program in the future.
"We have the tools, the talent and the heritage to do the job. It makes sense for us to go and see first-hand how we might take advantage of a business opportunity that fits with our capabilities."
Gascoyne, who no longer has an involvement in the Caterham F1 team, is believed to be looking at both the LMP1 and P2 categories. No timescale has been set for the project, but a car would unlikely to be up and running before 2015. Caterham will embed engineers with Greaves for the 24 Hours and next Sunday's Le Mans Test Day as part of the evaluation process.
The deal with Greaves, which has been motivated by Gascoyne's side of the business rather than the grand prix team, includes the placing of Caterham F1 reserve and GP2 driver Alexander Rossi in the Greaves Zytek alongside Tom Kimber-Smith and Eric Lux.
America's Rossi, who will make his 2013 F1 Friday test debut at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal, will fly straight to Europe after taking part in first practice with Caterham in order to attend the test day. As a Le Mans rookie, he is required to take part in order to contest the race.
The interest of the Caterham Group in international endurance racing follows the setting up of a 50/50 joint venture with historic French manufacturer Alpine to develop a new road-going sports car. Gascoyne and CT&I are leading the design of a car that will be available as a Caterham and an Alpine when it goes on sale in 2016.