The movement of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season-opener from March to April could enable Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus to enter its new Le Mans Hypercar from round one, according to the U.S. constructor’s owner Jim Glickenhaus.
Glickenhaus told Sportscar365 that Friday’s confirmation of an eight-hour race at Portimao on April 4 fits in with his LMH vehicle’s test and homologation schedule, unlike the previous March 19 date for the 1000 Miles of Sebring that has now been canceled.
SCG is aiming to have its non-hybrid 007 LMH machine homologated by mid-March, which made Sebring unachievable and prompted the team to initially defer its WEC debut to round two at Spa in May.
The new calendar establishes a fortnight between SCG’s envisaged homologation sign-off and the opening day of the pre-season ‘Prologue’ test at Portimao on March 30.
The switch to a European season-opener in Portugal also provides a logistical boost for SCG because its car is being developed at Podium Advanced Technologies in Italy.
Furthermore, being able to contest the opening round of the season gives the team the opportunity to run the full 2021 season, which it has signed up to.
“We strongly believe that we will be able to race with two cars at Portimao,” said Glickenhaus. “We will be able to confirm that definitely in a short time, but that is our intention.”
While an opening-round debut for the 007 LMH is now back on the cards, SCG has been forced to delay its vehicle’s maiden rollout by two weeks due to what Glickenhaus described as Brexit-related complications regarding the acquisition of parts.
This is set to eat into SCG’s available testing time before the start of the season, but Glickenhaus is optimistic that the development process won’t be hampered.
SCG is aiming to present its car in mid-March during a test session at Vallelunga, while the second half of January was originally posited as the target time for the rollout.
When asked when the car is set to turn wheels for the first time, Glickenhaus said:
“We’ve pushed that to Feb. 15. Because of Brexit, every little part like a connector or a hose – we used to get them overnight, but it now takes six weeks.
“And we don’t know what it costs, because we get it and then UK customs calls and says, ‘you owe us duty’. We’re delayed two weeks because of Brexit.
“Our rollout will be Feb. 15. Could it turn out to be five days later? Sure. But I’m hoping it won’t. March [test] is written in wood. We’re going to have two cars running, testing all of our drivers. We’re going to pop the cars in the transporter and go to Portimao.”
SCG is expected to announce the rest of its driver lineup by the end of this month.
Gustavo Menezes and Ryan Briscoe were confirmed as the first two team members courtesy of their inclusion on the 33-car provisional season entry list issued on Thursday.
Sportscar365 understands that among the other signings are drivers with experience in Glickenhaus GT machinery at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and drivers with previous ties to Joest Racing which is providing operational support to the 007 LMH program.