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Briscoe: Glickenhaus Podium a “Massive Accomplishment”

Glickenhaus drivers reflect on team taking its first Le Mans podium with the 007 Pipo LMH…

Photo: MPS Agency

Ryan Briscoe described Glickenhaus Racing’s podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a “massive accomplishment” for the American team in its second attempt at the race.

Briscoe, Franck Mailleux and Richard Westbrook finished third in the No. 709 Glickenhaus 007 Pipo after a largely reliable run with their non-hybrid LMH prototype.

It marked the first outright podium for an American team at Le Mans since Champion Racing finished first and third with Audi R8s in 2005.

Glickenhaus made its Hypercar debut at Portimao last June and finished fourth and fifth at its first Le Mans that same year, which marked only the third race for the program.

It then contested the opening two rounds of this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship season at Sebring and Spa, where it claimed its first outright pole position.

“It’s a massive accomplishment,” Briscoe told Sportscar365.

“What a group of guys; they work so hard. The car was just awesome to drive today.

“We’re just really proud of the effort and the gains we’ve made since last year.

“It’s a bit disappointing that we didn’t quite have the pace of the Toyotas and it would have been nice to race them for the win.

“But it was a massive accomplishment for the team and everyone should be very proud of that.”

Derani added that the result was a notable achievement for team owner Jim Glickenhaus, who committed to the LMH regulations back in 2019 and worked with Italian firm Podium Advanced Technologies to develop its Pipo Moteurs-powered V8 twin-turbo machine.

“This is fantastic for him,” Derani told Sportscar365 after finishing fourth alongside Olivier Pla and Romain Dumas.

“He’s a passionate guy, and to be able to come here as a privateer entry, build his own car and go to the podium at Le Mans is fantastic.

“I think he has to be proud of it. For sure there are always things you can improve, but in general he’s come here and he’s done better than bigger manufacturers, so it’s fantastic.”

The 90th edition of Le Mans was not completely plain sailing for Glickenhaus, which saw both of its cars encounter setbacks to varying degrees.

It was also unable to match the Toyota GR010 Hybrids, which broke clear at the head of the field to record a one-two result for the Japanese manufacturer.

The No. 708 Glickenhaus stood as the team’s lead hope in the early stages, but an accident for Olivier Pla at Tertre Rouge on an out-lap caused it to drop out of contention.

“It took a lot of time to restart,” Glickenhaus Racing team principal Luca Ciancetti told Sportscar365.

“And it took a lot of time to make a lap. With a bent toe-link, we basically destroyed one of the tires, so we did a lap at 50 km/h.

“We came in, we changed the toe-link, so we lost [approximately] 25 minutes with the No. 708 that was running fourth.”

The No. 709 Glickenhaus duly inherited third position, but it was already on a recovery mission of its own after the team lost time changing a sensor in the second hour.

“There was a false reading from a sensor that was making noise in the system,” Ciancetti explained. “So it was very difficult to properly drive the engine control. 

“To avoid any issue, because the risk was to either run too low or too high on power, we stopped the car to sort it. We just swapped the sensor out.

“Basically we opened the gap to the Toyotas in a way that was not possible to recover in any way. They were already faster than us.

“We were trying to survive, waiting for something to happen in the race.

“Both cars performed quite well for a lot of the race; better than last year for sure.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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