RACING

Glickenhaus set for possible legal battle with IMSA

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  • Glickenhaus wants his 007s to race in the US-based IMSA GTP class next year, but says IMSA won’t allow it, citing the sanctioning body’s insistence that he sell a minimum of 2500 cars in the United States to be eligible.
  • New York-based automaker Sleepy Hollow is considering legal action against IMSA, claiming the series violates US antitrust laws.
  • Glickenhaus sells an exotic street car called 004, an off-roader called Boot, and the 1400 horsepower 007 supercar, which you can buy as a street car or rebuild into a Le Mans racer.

    When we left Jim Glickenhaus for the last time, he was about to make his first pilgrimage to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, two cars in tow, both driving – optimistically, even he agrees – in the very high category against the two indomitable Toyota Gazoo.

    “I heard that other teams were betting on how long our cars would last, and the longest guess was two hours,” he recalled this week. “We finished fourth and fifth; later we finished the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship race at Sebring on the podium, and at Spa we took pole. I think we have a real car.

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    James Glickenhaus has two entries at Le Mans. He hopes to race in IMSA next year.

    James Moy PhotographyGetty Images

    Indeed, he does. Glickenhaus is a businessman, car collector, filmmaker (he wrote and directed the cult 1980 film The exterminatormade for $2 million, which made $35 million), and currently a car manufacturer, selling the exotic Glickenhaus 004 street, the Glickenhaus Boot off-roader, and the 1400 horsepower 007 supercar, which you can buy like a streetcar , or turned out to be a Le Mans race contender like the two Glickenhaus 007s.

    He races at Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and, with his Botte, the Baja 1000. He may be the last man to believe in the “Win ​​on Sunday, sell on Monday” philosophy.

    “The problem is that we are a small corsair fighting giants. My shareholders look at me and say, ‘Jim, that’s great, actually that’s amazing, but how does that translate into money for the company?’ »

    He answers: Advertising. Credibility. Proof of concept engineering. Besides, it’s fun. His investors hope he is right.

    Speaking of the company, Glickenhaus is full of ideas other than off-road vehicles and sports cars. He wants to build a full-size hydrogen-powered pickup and a kit-car version of the Boot that can be raced in the Baja 1000 and then converted into a car that could compete at the Nürburgring. Starting price: $100,000.

    Le Mans 24 hour test day

    James Moy PhotographyGetty Images

    High on the agenda, however, is to sell racing versions of the 007. “Our cars are the cheapest Hypercars. We will sell our car for 2.5 million euros ($2,676,677). You can buy the spare parts you want, and if you race in our garage next to us, we’ll split the cost of the race equally with you. It’s a hell of a deal, and there are several teams that are interested in what we’re doing. I think we brought back the spirit of Jim Hall, Briggs Cunningham and Carroll Shelby as Americans, and I think people are really responding to that. Several teams, he says, are very interested in running a Glickenhaus.

    Glickenhaus would like to race the 007 next year in the US-based IMSA GTP class, his version of the WEC Hypercar, but so far IMSA doesn’t seem so interested. “The only crazy wrinkle in this situation is IMSA. They initially told us that Le Mans Hypercars would be able to race in IMSA the same way LMDh would be allowed to race in WEC the same way, and Le Mans,” said said Glickenhaus.

    “They told us that because we don’t sell 2,500 cars a year in the United States, we’re not eligible to race in IMSA. Honestly, we think, and our lawyers think, that’s just “a stupid violation of US antitrust laws. We will most likely be able to sue IMSA for antitrust.”

    “It’s not something I want to do, but why don’t they want us to run?” We are an American company. Last year we had a social media reach of over 100 million people, and this year we will have over 200 million. Why wouldn’t you want those fans to come to the races? It’s just completely stupid.

    Automatic week contacted IMSA for comment.

    “Based on current IMSA sporting regulations, for an entrant to be eligible to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, their manufacturer must be an IMSA Official Automotive Partner pursuant to a separate commercial agreement with IMSA, and have a production 2,500 or more vehicles for public consumption and use on public roads annually,” says Nate Siebens, IMSA communications director.

    “With the new LMDh regulations and the combined GTP category (LMDh and LMH cars potentially competing in the same class) from 2023, IMSA has had this same philosophy.” That said, “The 2023 Sporting Regulations have yet to be finalized and the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship entry process has yet to begin.”

    Do not sell Glickenhaus short. “We’re focused on winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, and I think it’s fair to say we have a real chance of doing that, but I’m in no way saying it will happen.” In testing, the Glickenhaus cars were very close to the Toyotas in lap times.

    “We will do our best and we will try to obtain additional investments so that we can develop our production capacity to meet demand. We’ve sold over 300 of our 004 road cars and boots, and we don’t have the capacity to turn them anywhere except in a few years, but we’re trying to accelerate that.

    Racing at Le Mans is not cheap and never has been. “When the top class at Le Mans was the LMP1 car, it was a bit like nuclear war,” he said. “Manufacturers were spending 300 million euros a year trying to win the race. Our total budget, to design, engineer and build two cars, was around $12 million. I think Toyota is spending us 10 to 1. So the fact that we can even compete with them, let alone take pole at Spa, shows that it can be done, and I think that resonates with the fans.

    “Who knows?” Glickenhaus minimizes. “It will be an interesting weekend.”

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