Saleen is planning an initial batch of 12 GT4 cars for next year according to its director of motorsports Gabriele Cadringher, who expects to have at least four racing in Pirelli GT4 America competition.
Launched on Thursday in Las Vegas, the Saleen 1 GT4 is largely based on the manufacturer’s Cup car with several modifications including the addition of a rear diffuser, larger front splitter and fuel tank as well as single-lug wheel nuts.
According to Cadringher, the 450-horsepower mid-engined sports car will be homologated under SRO Motorsports Group’s Cup-based GT4 regulations, which require a manufacturer to produce a minimum of 20 Cup cars that compete in an established single-make series.
It differs from the more traditional GT4 homologation that is based on the production car, where a minimum of 200 units are required to be built.
“We’ve started the homologation with SRO,” Cadringher told Sportscar365. “We will start testing soon.
“We’re discussing with SRO all of the details but the plan is to be ready for the BoP session at Paul Ricard in March. We’ll send the car there with Eric Curran, our test driver.
“At that point, we think the car will be homologated.”
Cadringher said they’ve established a preliminary allocation plan for the GT4 car, which will see at least two cars campaigned by its in-house team, R3 Motorsports, which handles the operations of the Saleen Cup.
R3 would be responsible for running the two class champions from this year’s single-make series, which will receive full-season drives in GT4 America in 2020.
Saleen’s test driver, Eric Curran, is also expected to feature in the lineup next year, according to Cadringher.
“The idea is to have two [cars] with R3 Motorsports, maybe more,” he said. “We’re discussing with two other very good teams [for GT4 America].
“There will be two cars in China GT because of our Chinese partners. There may be more as I’m also in touch with another Chinese team.
“I’ve also had two [other] requests, one from England and one from France, for four cars [total].
“That would make 12 cars, which is honestly what we should do [for the first year]. No more than that.
“It’s a reasonable number for the first year because we’re still on a learning curve.”
Cadringher explained that Dallara has been involved with the aerodynamics and CFD work of the GT4 car.
A total of 20 cars had been due to take part in this weekend’s Saleen Cup season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with an 18-car grid now expected following fires for two of the cars in practice.