Company founder Jim Glickenhaus has long been vocal about the fact that his eponymous firm has not been able to enter its cars in IMSA and the blue riband Daytona 24 Hours, owing to the North American series’ strict criteria on what constitutes a manufacturer.
IMSA regulations require any participating manufacturer to produce 2,500 cars a year.
In an online press call organised by the World Endurance Championship ahead of next month’s Sebring 1000 Miles, Glickenhaus reiterated his stance, calling the decision to bar a small American marque like his “illegal” according to US anti-trust laws as well as “idiotic”.
But he also stated that his company’s financial position has been damaged by its inability to race in IMSA, which could have ramifications for its future participation in the WEC – and that he had been given reassurances by IMSA that his car would be welcome.
“It has had a huge financial impact on our ability to race,” said Glickenhaus, whose team has one car entered for the 2023 WEC and hopes to run a second in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
“US sponsors cannot be serviced. If we raced in IMSA, we could raise money from US sponsors and we had US sponsors who wanted us to race.
“We have suffered huge financial damages. I race because I love to race; I can afford to race. I do it personally. It’s not a business thing. But at some point, my shareholders are going to say, ‘Jim, enough’, and they are not going to let me keep racing.
“When that day happens, it will happen. But if I could race in IMSA, I would have a much better chance of being able to continue in the WEC.”
Glickenhaus was absent from the IMSA season-opener at Daytona
Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images
Glickenhaus explained that assurances that his 007 LMH would be eligible to race in IMSA were given to him in summer 2020, and suggested that the initial go-ahead for the project would not have been given if it was clear from the outset it was ineligible.
“We were told [we could race in IMSA] and it was a condition of us entering,” he said. “Frankly, if we knew we could not race in IMSA, we would not have gone forward.
“There are some very high-level people from the WEC and ACO who know what I am saying is completely true, and are very disappointed in it.”
Glickenhaus, who has previously threatened legal action against IMSA if it didn’t relent on its position, said pursuing the matter in the courts remains on the table.
“I’m not looking to file a lawsuit just for the sake of it, but I find it incredible,” he told Autosport separately after the WEC press call. “[I don’t understand] what is in their mind by not letting this [car] race and taking this illegal position.”
Glickenhaus added that the concept of convergence between LMDh and LMH would be hollow until cars from both rulesets had been able to win in both the WEC and IMSA.
“The one thing I said in that call that [IMSA president] John Doonan and Pierre [Fillon, ACO president] were on, is that the fans will believe there is convergence when an LMDh wins Le Mans, and an LMH wins the Daytona 24 Hours,” he said.
“I think until that happens, convergence doesn’t really exist. Doonan and Pierre agreed completely, but then Doonan said we can’t race in IMSA. So go figure.”
IMSA has been approached for comment by Autosport.
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