California supercar maker Saleen is launching its own one-make race series, aptly entitled the Saleen Cup and you don’t even have to buy the race car. For $42,000 per weekend, all you have to do is show up and drive the machine. Saleen will handle getting you the car, mechanics, tires, fuel, even engineers to help you maximize your performance.
The Saleen Cup will consist of five races that adjoin to the Blancpain GT World Challenge America and it’s open to anyone with a standard “D” racing license. The car will be the Saleen 1, a 450-horsepower turbocharged 2.2-liter four-cylinder with a sequential gearbox, per Gregory Stacy, Saleen’s marketing director, and it’ll have all the race accoutrements like a roll cage and race dashboard and electronics. The cup also offers two racer teams, which help mitigate the costs of a weekend. The five weekends of the Saleen Cup are Sonoma Raceway, in early June, Portland, Watkins Glen, Road America and Grand Finale in Las Vegas in late October.
Twenty spots are alloted for the series and Stacy says they’re filling up quickly, both from those who have put down a deposit on the forthcoming S1 road car and those outside the Saleen ownership family. “There’ll be an opportunity to have some practice before the series kicks off,” Stacy shared. “We’re planning to have instructors and the people that are registered and need experience, we will be offering that.”
The following year, Saleen is planning to launch a GT4 car to compete in the various series, and for those who show great promise in the Saleen cup car, there’s a chance to win a factory seat the GT4 vehicle for the 2020 season. Meanwhile, the S1 road car is completing its certification process currently, with a projected launch date of the first quarter of next year. “The car’s been tested and it’s looking great,” Stacy says.