Should its 2010 entry be accepted, US GPE hopes to have its first Formula 1 car up-and-running by November 'if all falls perfectly into place' and could field an all-American driver pairing in the top flight next year, according to one of the new North Carolina-based outfit's team principals.
There has been much cynicism about the seriousness of the bid put together by former Ferrari and Williams team manager Peter Windsor and esteemed IndyCar designer and engineer Ken Anderson – a man with previous experience in F1 with Ligier and Onyx two decades ago – most prominently regarding the decision to base the squad in the heart of NASCAR country across the Pond, when every other team has its headquarters in Europe.
However, with the successful 2010 entries set to be published by the FIA on 12 June – and more than ten teams seemingly clamouring for the three available extra slots on the starting grid in the sport's new 'low-cost', budget-capped era – it is very much all systems go at US GPE, Anderson has revealed.
“First and foremost is getting our entry accepted!” the American told the official F1 website. “We threw our first entry in last December, so the hot period is from 22 May, when they open it, to 12 June when we'll be in or out.
“Assuming we are in, the car is in CFD right now and at the time of the closing around 12 June we will start to produce parts, as the [manufacturing] machines will be delivered by then. We are probably one of the first F1 teams to go for a 100 per cent wind tunnel model since there is no better way to develop a car than at full scale, as the beauty of it is to fit real parts to the real car. That will happen in late September.
“We will torture-test the car and the suspension in October/November. Depending on the [make of] engine, we will be running the car in the first week of January, but if all falls perfectly into place, we would like the car to be running in November/December.”
Much has also been speculated about who could potentially race for US GPE, with a whole host of drivers on the fringes of F1 all desperate for a break into the big-time. Windsor hints that it could just turn out to be an all home-grown line-up.
“From the very start Ken and I threw the idea around of having two American drivers,” acknowledged the expert broadcaster. “It will be an American team, a car made in America, so why not go all the way and have two American drivers?
“There are some Americans doing quite well right now in single-seater racing, like Ryan Hunter-Reay, Jonathan Summerton, Danica Patrick, Graham Rahal and A.J. Allmendinger, who has great credentials in NASCAR – and then the next generation looks really strong [too].