Small private teams are no longer in the top class of the FIA WEC World Endurance Championship. Apparently, their chances for greater success were definitely frozen by the arrival of the giants. One American “garageist” is leaving the series completely, while a European privateer will try to change the supplier of the drive unit for the next season.
Let’s start with the worse news. Glickenhaus, the likable American team that won the hearts of many fans, will not return to the WEC next year. The SCG 007 LMH racing car was only the second special built according to Le Mans Hypercar rules after Toyota. For the WEC, Glickenhaus developed it together with Podium Engineering and the program was handled by the Jöst Racing team. It certainly had potential, but James Glickenhaus would have to invest a seven-figure dollar amount in the necessary upgrades to keep the car competitive. And that is, of course, a problem for a small factory.
“In the very beginning, even before the erroneous rule change due to the announced entry of Aston Martin with the Valkyrie, it was absolutely simple. You simply had to build a car according to the given technical rules, which would complete a lap at Le Mans in three and a half minutes. And you would use it throughout the rules period,” Glickenhaus told dailysportscar.com.
“However, since that change, it was already absolutely clear that the car companies would start pushing development forward, and that put us on edge. To stay competitive, we would have to invest in a magnesium engine block. The second option was to stay with the current engine, which is causing us problems due to its heating up outside the car. In that case, we would be forced to invest in new bodywork for a change.”
“If we were to go into it, we would have to invest unjustifiably high amounts, considering that it is actually our side business,” explained Glickenhaus, whose famous Indiana Jones hat will no longer appear in the paddock.
It’s such a sadly early end for the American brand on the world stage, yet Glickenhaus has left quite a mark in the WEC over three seasons. Although the Americans did not win, they still took two pole positions last year in Spa and Monza. In Le Mans, Glickenhaus was the fastest in tests the year before, and he finished the world’s most famous 24-hour driver there on the podium last year. He also reached the podium in the WEC Glickenhaus on home soil in the famous Sebring. Thank you, you will be missed…
ByKolles improves the car
The second privateer to build their own hypercar for the WEC is the Austrian stable ByKolles. This year, she competed in the World Championship under the name of Floyd Vanwall Racing Team with the special Vanwall Vandervell 680. Colin Kolles’ team did not achieve such success as the formation of James Glickenhaus, but it does not give up its efforts.
This year, Vanwall raced with a naturally aspirated eight-cylinder Gibson under the hood, but for next season the Austrian stable is changing the supplier of the power unit, and is also switching to a turbocharged engine.
“It will be a turbocharged engine, proven with plenty of power and good reliability. It won’t be an experiment,” Kolles told motorsport.com. However, the team leader did not name the supplier.