Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus comes close to making history at the Nurburgring Nordschleife // .@SCG003C
Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus comes close to making history at the Nurburgring Nordschleif
SCG ran first and second at the Nurburgring (Credit: Hide Ishiura)
American team Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG) just missed out on victory at the qualification race for the Nurburgring 24 Hours, which ran for six hours at the legendary Nordschleife.
The SCG003C was leading every major manufacturer at the most challenging race track in the world: including Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche, before retiring with brake failure with just over half an hour to go. While these manufacturers all have the might of top factory programmes behind them, SCG is a completely private entry: aiming to become the first car company of its type to win at the Nurburgring. This unique goal, unparalleled in the history of the prestigious Nurburgring 24 Hours, is now closer than ever.
Brand creator Jim Glickenhaus said: “I feel incredibly proud, and grateful to my friends and partners Chris Ruud and Paolo Garella for their support and hard work that really started to come together last weekend. We were finally able to run with the German automotive giants, who dominate their home track. We also secured top 30 qualifying spots for the Nurburgring 24 Hours, giving us a chance to win the Glickenhaus Trophy, which was a major goal for this weekend. Unfortunately, a mechanical issue caused an off in the closing stages of the race, but the driver was fine, protected by the bespoke crash structure. This issue will be resolved in time for the Nurburgring 24 Hours itself, which we approach with confidence. We’re also very excited about our road car, which will soon be ready for customer test drives and deliveries. We’re also very excited about changes in the law for low volume manufacturers which will allow us to expand our production into the United States and make SCG eligible for many more race series. We have only just begun.”
Chris Ruud, the owner of the leading car, added: “We accomplished our goal for the weekend by securing a top 30 entry for both cars. We were running P1 and P2 by lap 2 at the start of the race, then we held that firm lead till the end. All of the hard work by the engineers and the countless days of testing over the winter finally came together to create a very competitive car. Our pit stop strategy was different than the rest of the top teams and that really paid off this weekend. We may not have finished the race, but we took an important step forwards against some mighty opposition.”
Even though SCG does not have the same global resources of the established giants of the Nurburgring, it showed the potential to beat them thanks to a bespoke blend of performance and efficiency, evident both in the race itself and in qualifying. The German manufacturers have a long tradition of success at the Nurburgring, many of which have a base at the Nordschleife itself. Instead, the SCG003S is built in Turin, Italy, and run by an international team from Italy and America.
Following a number of recent developments carried out earlier in the season, Felipe Laser proved the pace of the SCG003C by slotting it into provisional pole on Saturday, eventually starting from 2nd on the grid. The leading 702 car was driven by Laser, Thomas Mutsch, and Andreas Simonsen, while the 704 was driven by Frank Mailleux, Mutsch (who was driving both cars) and Jeff Westphal started in 7th. By the end of the first lap the cars were running first and second, although 704 was eventually forced to retire after the telemetry detected an abnormality on the newly-installed engine.
The 702 car stayed near the front right until the closing stages, when a brake failure meant that the car, driven by Laser at the time, went off: dashing the hopes of not only the team itself, but also its many fans.
Laser commented: “We were in the lead up until 30 minutes from the end of the race and one of the fastest cars on the track. We did a perfect job, the team did perfect pit stops and we had the perfect strategy. We have the blue lights for the qualification for the top 30, which was our main target and at the end of the day we can be very happy with the improvements. I think we are very very competitive and will be able to win the 24 hours against all the big manufacturers and factory teams. I’m really looking forward to fighting with the whole team for the 24-hour win this year and it will be a big big honour.”
Thomas Mutsch, who formed part of the driving crew for both cars, said: “The SCG003C was unbelievable, so great to drive. I had a lot of fun during my laps and it felt like there was only ever going to be one outcome: victory. Unfortunately, the brake failure stopped us, but we know that the pace is definitely there for the race.”
Simonsen, a key ingredient in the strong performance of the 702, reported: “For us it was a perfect weekend until 30 minutes from the end and we really showed that we are there to be counted for. The whole team did an amazing job with no mistakes and perfect pit stops. The car behaved brilliantly and we had the speed to go for the win, so we are going to come back for the big one and go for it.”
The team will now prepare for the Nurburgring 24 Hours itself, which takes place from May 27-28. It will enter both the 702 and 704 cars. While the final driver lineup for each car has not been announced, it will consist of SCG N24 returning drivers Felipe Laser, Thomas Mutsch, Andreas Simonsen, Frank Mailleux, Jeff Westphal and new to the team this year is N24 class winning driver Andrea Piccini.
Ruud, Glickenhaus and Garella before the race (Credit: Hide Ishiura)
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