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WEC Fuji

Glickenhaus to skip Fuji, WEC future in doubt

The future of the Glickenhaus Racing squad in the World Endurance Championship appears to be in doubt after a decision to skip the next round at Fuji in September.

#708 Glickenhaus Racing Glickenhaus 007: Romain Dumas, Ryan Briscoe, Olivier Pla

Team founder Jim Glickenhaus has stuck to his vow not to continue in the series this year with his Pipo-engined 007 Le Mans Hypercar without sponsorship.

No funding was forthcoming before the freight left by sea this week for the Asian leg of the WEC comprising the Fuji 6 Hours on 10 September and then the eight-hour fixture in Bahrain on 4 November.

Glickenhaus hasn’t ruled out rejoining the WEC with its solo full-season entry for the finale in Bahrain, but he appeared pessimistic that sponsorship can be found in time.

“I’ve said that unless we find serious sponsorship that would allow us to continue this year in a good way and then go on into next year, then it makes no sense for us to continue,” he told Autosport.

“Bahrain is still a possibility for us because we are still talking to people.

“But if we don’t get something in place for then, I’d say it’s very unlikely that we’d get something for next year, though it’s not over ’til it’s over.”

The US entrant opted to miss Fuji and Bahrain last year and didn’t commit to returning in 2023 until December. It again filed one full-season entry and fielded a second 007 at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Glickenhaus explained that it was increasingly difficult for independent teams to compete against the growing number of major manufacturers competing in the Hypercar class of the WEC.

#708 Glickenhaus Racing Glickenhaus 007: Romain Dumas, Ryan Briscoe, Olivier Pla

#708 Glickenhaus Racing Glickenhaus 007: Romain Dumas, Ryan Briscoe, Olivier Pla

Photo by: Paolo Belletti

“When we entered the WEC it was one thing and now it’s quite another: seemingly every manufacturer in the world wants to be involved,” he said.

“I think the days of the privateer are numbered.”

The importance of developing the 007 and taking up some of the five so-called ‘evo jokers’ allowed on each car over its lifespan were highlighted by Glickenhaus.

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He stated that he doesn’t want to be “cannon fodder” for Toyota and Ferrari, which have won the five WEC races so far this year.

A return to the Nurburgring 24 Hours with its Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004C GT racer is on the cards for 2024 after the team opted to skip this year’s race to focus on its WEC programme.

“The Nurburgring makes more sense for us, because it promotes the car we are building for the road,” he said.

“The cost, of course, is also much lower.”

The absence of Glickenhaus at Fuji, round six of this year’s WEC, will mean there will be 12 cars in Hypercar and 36 in total.

The same number of cars will take part as at Monza earlier this month because the works-run Heart of Racing Aston Martin GTE will return after missing the Italian race courtesy of a clash with its commitments in the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

Jim Glickenhaus, Glickenhaus Racing

Jim Glickenhaus, Glickenhaus Racing

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Juan Manuel Correa returns to the line-up of the #9 Prema ORECA-Gibson 07 LMP2 for his third appearance of the year in the WEC, which he is contesting alongside a Formula 2 programme with Van Amersfoort Racing.

Mirko Bortolotti will take up his place in Prema’s #63 entry after missing Monza to race in the Norisring DTM round.

Ferrari factory driver Daniel Serra will return to the CarGuy-backed Kessel Racing entry. He was absent from the Ferrari 488 GTE Evo last time out in Italy because he was racing in Brazilian Stock Car Pro Series.

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