Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus will not take part in next month’s Total 6 Hours of Spa, with the American-flagged team delaying the debut of its SCG 007 Le Mans Hypercar to the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season at Portimao.
The development comes in the wake of the team not yet being able to complete its planned 30-hour endurance test with the car, which is now scheduled for early next month at Motorland Aragon.
An accident for the only fully built chassis at Vallelunga in March has not contributed to delay in the car’s final homologation according to team principal Jim Glickenhaus, who has cited production delays and travel restrictions as the primary factors for its decision.
“There’s nothing that’s changed in our plans,” he told Sportscar365. “COVID has made it more difficult in terms of suppliers. Things that we used to get overnight out of the UK now take three weeks.
“Even if it’s something as small as an electrical connector, it slows you up. It has had an effect.
“COVID travel restrictions had an enormous effect on us.
“We have drivers from the United States, France, the UK. The rules change every 15 minutes. It’s very difficult, so that has slowed things. But the slowing up has never changed anything.
“We were always going to do a 30-hour test and we were always going to have this interim aero exploration, a pre-homologation, full-scale wind tunnel test.
“The internet, recklessly, makes assumptions that us not racing Spa means anything. It means nothing. We’re delayed. There are many reasons for it. But we have no pressure.
“Why would we rush out to race Spa with a car that’s not as good as it’s eventually going to be, and be locked into something that’s not good? It’s crazy.”
Glickenhaus explained that the next step is finalizing the aero configuration of the 007, where it has developed two distinct packages and per LMH rules must decide on a single kit.
Its second chassis is currently at Sauber’s wind tunnel for aero testing today and tomorrow.
“This is a private SCG test where we are going to try different configurations to determine what exactly the final car will be, and what will make it the fastest – primarily at Le Mans, but also suitable to race at other WEC tracks,” Glickenhaus said.
“The problem is that if you just made a pure Le Mans car, it really won’t be that good at other tracks. So we are trying to do that.
“Once we do that, it’s locked a five-year commitment for the life of the car. So we really, really want to be very careful with that decision.
“My goal is to beat Ferrari at Le Mans in 2023, not to show up at Spa with a car that’s not ready.
“In addition to which, look at the COVID situation in Belgium today. It’s not great. Do I want to subject myself and my teammates to that?”
An additional validation test is planned at Vallelunga in about ten days’ time prior to the Aragon endurance test in early May, where all seven drivers are expected to be in attendance and where driving crews are likely to be finalized.
“We will be ready to race both cars at Portimao, and so we’ll race both cars at Portimao, Monza and then Le Mans,” Glickenhaus said. “And then we’ll see where we are and take it from there.”
The team’s decision to skip Spa will result in a three-car field in the debut of the LMH class, headlined by the pair of factory Toyota GR010 Hybrids.
Post-Le Mans Plans Remain Unclear
Glickenhaus said his team is currently not committed to the WEC ‘flyaway’ rounds at Fuji and Bahrain this season and will depend on securing additional sponsorship.
“We do this to sell cars,” he said. “We sell no cars in the Middle East and we sell no cars in Japan.
“So for us to continue doing the entire WEC, we need sponsors who want the exposure that we can give them in these markets.
“Just to race it because it’s there, isn’t something that we have any interest in or have to do. We’re a little different than other companies.
“Do I think we’ll get some of those sponsors? Sure. Do I think that someday we’ll sell cars to Japan? Absolutely. Do I think we’ll sell cars to the Middle East? Yeah.
“So will it be worth it at some point, racing in those markets? Sure.
“But we’re under no pressure to do anything. I don’t think people completely understand that.
“My goal isn’t to win the World Endurance Championship. It’s to enjoy racing and have the racing sell cars for us, in the traditional way, not to spend 2 million dollars going to Bahrain and Fuji, that’s not going to sell cars. Why would I do such a thing?”
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report