WEC/Le Mans: Glickenhaus confirms 2020/21 ‘Hypercar’ program
By Graham Goodwin and Stephen Kilbey | For DailySportsCar.com and RACER.com
Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus has become the first team to confirm a 2020/21 FIA WEC ‘Hypercar’ program, after New York-based owner and founder Jim Glickenhaus revealed his operation’s plans to RACER earlier today.
The team, which has run in the Nurburgring 24 Hours annually in recent years (taking pole in 2017), will run a two-car team for the new regulations. This commitment comes after the outline details of the rules were revealed last month.
The Glickenhaus 007 cars will be built at SCG’s race shop, (run by Podium Engineering) in Turin, Italy, and likely feature GM-sourced engines, with a decision on the required front KERS system set to be taken in the wake of final regulations being available.
“We already know enough from the information so far released though to know that this is well within our design and engineering capabilities,” said Glickenhaus.
“The direction of the regulations is clear, high performance but with strict parameters. Several of the numbers are not all that far from those we have already seen with our earlier or current projects. The aero efficiency numbers, minimum weight and frontal area are broadly similar to the current SCG 003, and while engine power is a little more it’s not that much further on.
“And we have experience too of blending a hybrid drive into an established package (the team performed that task on the 2011 P4/5 Competizione, which won its class at the 2012 Nurburgring 24 Hours), again something that we’ll be doing in putting together the new car.”
Glickenhaus was keen to point out that this program will use cars that can be converted to a road-legal spec.
“I know there will be those that will say that’s impractical,” he explained. “But I believe that this is a key part of the appeal to this, and I believe too that this may be the last time that a car capable of competing at this level will be capable of simple conversion to a road-legal vehicle.
“We’re looking at GM power for the engine, and that is likely to need an engine swap for road legality — the differences in mapping and fuel management would make the race engine impractical. Beyond that though it may be as simple as a change in wheels and tires!
“I know there is real appeal to some that these might be cars capable of being driven to Le Mans from Turin where they will be built and based, to race at the 24 Hours and then, if there’s enough left, to drive to Paris for dinner on the evening of the race!
“We’re not afraid of the competition and while I’m sure there will be those that will say we’re out of our depth, we’re not without some success in racing. I look forward to lining up with some very big names indeed, and I hope the fact that we are stepping up encourages others to do the same.
“We aren’t going to make money doing this but it does serve several very useful purposes for the direction of the company. It puts our name in front of more people, and it teaches us how to build better cars. Every lap we have completed in racing has helped us to develop our cars to be better, faster, more reliable, and more robust. This is another big step on that same road.”
The green light to this program follows significant financial commitment from a network of dealers and partners to Glickenhaus, that are set to be revealed as part of a significant expansion of the brand’s road and race car range and build capability.
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