James Glickenhaus' WEC Hypercar Sings and Stuns
They've finally completed one car, and is testing it out at Vallelunga
One man is about to face an army of established players in motorsport, and their car has begun shakedown runs at Vallelunga in Italy. James Glickenhaus and his Joest-supported SCG team is serious about taking on Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship, and now, the SCG 007 taken the next step to realizing that dream.
Yesterday, the team arrived at Vallelunga in Rome, Italy for the first ever shakedown of their new WEC Hypercar entry. SCG has been quite diligent in pushing out updates on social media, letting fans and casual watchers see how the entire project has been progressing. Romain Dumas is at the wheel testing the 007 to see where it may improve, and the resulting footage is quite encouraging indeed.
Powered entirely by a twin-turbo flat-plane-crank V8 built by Pipo Moteurs of France (SCG didn't go hybrid but it's okay according to the current rules), the 007, nicknamed Major Tom, logged its first 20 laps of running that exposed a bevy of issues for the team to solve. “The car sounds incredible – like a P4 Ferrari," Glickenhaus says, and is quite confident on how well the car did on its initial stretches, saying: "To have built this car from the ground up and to have done this, is like a crazy idea.”
Glickenhaus, who oversees the testing regiment remotely from Danbury, Connecticut, says the response from Dumas and the forward team has been largely positive, but also recognizes that there's still much work to be done. Some of the smaller details like cockpit appointments may be "done tonight", but larger teething issues like the brakes are going to be of concern to the team, though he reckons they aren't too hard to rectify.
“We need more calibration on the clutch and the engine," Glickenhaus said. "It’s a very complicated clutch because you’re not allowed to spin the wheels in the pits. We still have work to do."
So it sounds like the 007 project is off to a good start, although admittedly the team does look a bit small compared to a typical top-tier WEC entry. As for Romain Dumas, he's already shared his perspective on Twitter:
Daniel Lloyd on Sportscar365 goes into slightly more detail on the aerodynamics of the 007, which is quite fascinating given just how different it is to Toyota's entry, the GR010.
Take the rear end, for example, which looks much more stylized and comes with extra vertical fins on the wing itself to improve stability in turns. It's easy to see how far the design has come from the initial sketches, and it will be interesting to see how effective it can be.
The front end, meanwhile, is inspired by the Lola T70, which Glickenhaus says helped "separate" it from the rest of the machine, and the smoothness reflects the team's decision to focus on Le Mans for its sole aero trim, much like Toyota did.
Testing continues today, with Franck Mailleux putting in a stint to uncover more issues and check for pace. SCG is still privy on actual pace, but I think it's fair to say that it'd be pretty quick. Le Mans quick? We'll have to wait and see.
The second car is now under constriction, but with COVID-related delays hampering production, SCG will be missing the WEC season-opener at Portimao. Bloody shame, that.
[Post updated due to recent announcements.]