An Open Letter to our Followers

Nicolas Perrin

For those of you who have been following PERRINN for a few years, months or weeks, I would like to take this opportunity to explain the direction the project is headed because, well, it’s so incredibly exciting!

PERRINN’s initial foray began a few years ago and has up to now become known for its open access racing program for the Le Mans 24H. However, as things have progressed and developed, it is important for me to outline that there is more to PERRINN that simply an openly accessible Le Mans Prototype racing car...much much more in fact.

When I set myself a goal, I stick with it and work out how to succeed. It means learning along the way, staying agile and often adapting the plan to match the wider context. I set myself the goal of winning the 24hrs of Le Mans with a car of my design. That was in 2005 when I was a race engineer for Yves Courage team at Le Mans. I loved my years working for Yves. That year was my last with the team before joining Williams F1. I had a good team of drivers in my car sponsored by Yokohama (Cochet, Nakano and Jouanny).

We were ready to fight for 24 hours but we had an issue with the car and the race was over for us after only a couple of hours. I felt that Le Mans was the hardest race to win and that I would start working towards the goal of winning it one day. Going to Formula 1 was part of that plan. I then started my company, PERRINN, to design a Prototype race car for legendary race. Fast forward 13 years after that race with Courage, I am still working towards the goal of winning the 24hr and I’m realistic in knowing that it will take a few more years before the challenge is achieved. It was always going to be a long journey but I am still determined to see it though.

The plan has evolved a lot, the car will be electric and the project is called PROJECT 424.

I have learned that I need to go racing at Le Mans for a bigger reason than racing. Racing on its own is not sustainable. It consumes resources. Some people go racing to sell more cars, others to sell more energy drinks. We will go racing to sell our team to people and companies.

The idea of an open source team that would give back everything we create like car design, data and communications, for free, is a beautiful idea but was never going to be sustainable in the long run.

Now the plan is becoming much clearer, realistic and sustainable. I am building a team on the internet using the latest cloud infrastructure available. This team will create software tools and an online platform for people to communicate, exchange and work on projects of their own. PROJECT 424 is now the testing project for the PERRINN team. It also is a great way to showcase what our team can do and how efficient the tools we are developing are. So the goal of winning Le Mans is still very much at the heart of PERRINN but we are doing something that will have a much wider impact. The other outcome and product of our team will be trust in people and data as well as being part of a globally connected organisation.

I am reaching the point where I am happy with the plan. I know that it will be sustainable, economically successful with many ways to generate new resources that can be used for PROJECT 424 as well as other projects that PERRINN will develop in the future. I am excited because the values of open source is built in to our plan, through ease of access and internet-based infrastructure. PERRINN will use transparency of data and in the near future will have a micro-payment system built at its heart. The tools created will help people communicate in a new way and more efficiently. Our team will help create new opportunities for people and companies.

PERRINN’s slogan is ‘We are a Team’ and our next step is to start gathering investments and partners around our team and PROJECT 424. I am enjoying the journey, I hope you do too!

Nicolas Perrin