Le Mans is everything for Ryan Briscoe in 2021.
His only high-profile race start for the year will be with the most high-profile new arrival at the French endurance classic, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus.
The American outfit is going up against Toyota in the all-new Le Mans Hypercar class as Cameron Glickenhaus lives a dream which has already produced close ties with Ferrari.
The billionaire businessman built a great looking one-off sports car with Ferrari power that was granted an official Ferrari badge, but he is now going all-out for Le Mans with a personal project that is all-new from the tyres up.
“Glickenhaus wants to make history at Le Mans this year by being the first American manufacturer to win outright since Ford, with Carroll Shelby did it in the 60s,” Briscoe told Race News from his home in the USA.
“Beyond that, Glickenhaus is a car manufacturer and I believe would be open to continuing the brand and making his cars available to customer teams.”
Glickenhaus has entered two cars for Le Mans, which has been delayed from its usual date in June, and has a third car with a paid-up entry – for someone with around $8 million – available for sale.
The Glickenhaus racer has been testing with raw carbon bodywork but artist impressions of the car show a good looking sports car that it not just another cut-and-paste project for the LMP2 or LMP3 classes that have dominated the entry at Le Mans in recent years.
For Briscoe, a winner in IndyCars who was part of the giant Ford GT attack on Le Mans, the new deal sits at the heart of his year.
“You know, this year looks a bit quiet but I’m really excited about being a part of this new era of LMH car and being a part of this team,” he said.
“Glickenhaus is an amazing program to be involved with as every single element of this car is being developed from scratch, engine included. And it’s all being done from a very small group of people.
“There is so much pride and passion revolving around the program it feels very special to be a part of it.”
The Le Mans attack is huge and well funded, meaning Briscoe has been making regular trips from America to Europe for track time despite Covid-19.
“The big picture is Le Mans. We want to go there as well prepared as possible and we want to be able to challenge for the win,” he said.
“At the same time, I expect us to compete in at least two shorter rounds prior to Le Mans. I’m not sure what the plan is beyond Le Mans.
“Race dates have been changing so our plan for getting to Le Mans is still a little unclear. With the postponement to August, this can help the team delay some homologations until we have a bit more testing under our belt.”
And Briscoe has been busy.
“I have so far tested at Monza for two days and Vallelunga for two days. I won’t be at the next test and following that should be an endurance 30-hour test.”
Although Briscoe is now fully committed to Glickenhaus, he still has a very special souvenir from hits time on the Ford GT program, which included demonstration laps at Bathurst with one of the cars. He has a road going GT in his garage and is looking forward to getting it out once the summer sun is shining strongly in the USA.
“I’ve had it fully clear wrapped and look forward to putting some miles on it once all of our snow melts and the roads are salt free,” Briscoe said.