SCG recently announced that it would have Romain Dumas, Richard Westbrook, and Ryan Briscoe driving a lone 007 LM Hypercar for the Portimao round of the FIA WEC in June. It had already planned to skip the first round at Sebring, which was cancelled due to COVID restrictions, and refrained from showing up to the opening round Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Of what turned out to be a six race season, Glickenhaus has already begun waffling on their commitment to run the season-closing rounds in Japan and Bahrain.
The 70-year-old former film producer is allegedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and he’s complaining that his vanity hypercar racing project isn’t profitable enough to run a full season. According to a report from Autosport, Jim himself explained that racing at Fuji and Bahrain in September and November respectively, would “bring very little economic benefit to our company.”
“We don’t sell cars in Japan and we don’t sell cars in the Middle East at the moment,” he continued. “I wanna race where I sell cars, which is why I want to race in Europe and the USA. There has to be a commercial reason for me to race in Japan and Bahrain.”
2021 marks the ninth season of FIA WEC racing, and Mr. Glickenhaus was well aware that the series with “world” in its name would race all over the world. There is no reason for Jim to be delivering this mealy-mouthed excuse, and there’s no reason the WEC should accept it. He knew the series raced in Japan and Bahrain three years ago when he started planning this cockamamie racing effort in the first place, so if he wasn’t happy with the ROI racing there, he shouldn’t have joined the series.
I find it so interesting that the company initially announced a two-car effort for the entire season, and has somehow pared that back to just three rounds, with one of those rounds having a single entry. Hypercar and LMDh combined are allegedly going to be popping in two years, but if the grid were populated with these half-assed commitments, it would hardly be a grid at all. I find it hard to believe that Glick wants to be taken seriously with these kinds of ByKolles-ass moves. Toyota is going to wax their ass from here to the moon if they don’t pull up their big boy pants and step up to the fucking table.
Glickenhaus is blaming his team’s failures on the WEC’s reluctance to allow fans in the stands at races.
“We have a lot of potential sponsors, but it is all on hold until they know they can bring 100 of their best customers to the races,” he said, exculpating himself. Until sponsors can invite people to events they are not going to spend huge money having a name on the car. The ACO has been told of our position and understands it.”
Racing, and by extension winning, is allegedly a marketing token for Glickenhaus street car sales, but what good is a race team that doesn’t race? I understand fully that Jim is aiming squarely at Le Mans and only at Le Mans, but look how well that did for big funding squads like Nissan in the past. If you only show up for half the season, your car is definitely going to be half as good as the team that showed up for every race. Especially when the companies you’re racing against are Toyota, Ferrari, Peugeot, etc.
Glickenhaus says it will have two cars at the Monza round of the FIA WEC in July, prepping for a full-on assault at La Sarthe. Is one six-hour race really enough to shake down a brand new car for one of the most intense motorsport events on the calendar? I’d argue that it isn’t. And how can we be sure that the team won’t pull the same shenanigans next season? Either show up, or don’t.
And for the record, Jim, I’m fully aware that you read everything ever written about your car company. Please feel free to spout off in the comments whatever you’d like to say. I can take your criticisms and I won’t even block you on Twitter for it.