Saleen’s single-make series featuring its arrive-and-drive Cup car will not move forward this year, having been cancelled in favor of the development and forthcoming debut of the Saleen 1 GT4 car.
Launched last summer as a support series to SRO America events, the Saleen Cup had been intended as a development series as part of Saleen Automotive’s re-entry into motorsports.
A total of four events were held after a postponed start due to manufacturing-related delays, although Saleen Automotive delivered on its promise of having a near 20-car grid in its season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October.
Sportscar365 understands plans had been already in place for the Saleen Cup to continue in 2020 on SRO America weekends and is still currently listed on the schedule for next weekend’s season-opener at Circuit of The Americas.
However, a Saleen spokesperson has confirmed that the Cup has been cancelled.
In a statement provided to Sportscar365, the manufacturer said it succeed in the “ambitious undertaking” of launching a single-make series and will now instead shift focus to the final stages of development and deployment of the Saleen 1 GT4 car, which is currently undergoing homologation by SRO.
“Our goal was always to get Saleen racing in the GT4 series, and ultimately that was the goal for most of the drivers competing in the Saleen Cup last year as well,” the statement read.
“We incorporated our goal of racing GT4 into our announcement of the Saleen Cup by offering a factory entry in GT4 to the category winners of the 2019 Saleen Cup.
“We concluded the season introducing our new Saleen 1 GT4 Concept vehicle – and have been quickly moving through the homologation process with SRO ever since.
“At this time, we have decided to allocate our resources to racing in the GT4 series, in lieu of a second Saleen Cup season this year.
“Our results in testing the Saleen 1 GT4 Concept for homologation have exceeded our high expectations.
“Forgoing a Saleen Cup this year will allow us to expand our GT4 racing program with additional entries and team support.”
While stating “great interest” in the GT4 program, Sportscar365 understands the car will not be on the grid for next weekend’s Pirelli GT4 America round at COTA.
Saleen has stated this is because the car is not yet homologated, although several cars, including the Panoz Avezzano GT4 and Ford Mustang GT4, raced without final homologation in SRO and IMSA competition previously.
It’s understood the manufacturer holds obligations to both Paul Terry and Carter Fartuch, who won last year’s Saleen Cup Pro-Am and Young Gun championships, respectively, which awarded fully-paid rides in GT4 America SprintX for 2020.
A statement from Saleen says both are “confirmed to race” with the manufacturer this year.
“Unfortunately, the homologation will not be finalized in time to race at the series opener at COTA,” the statement said.
“We look forward to starting on the grid at the Streets of Long Beach in April for the next GT4 America SprintX event and continuing the 2020 season from that point.”