Jim Glickenhaus says his eponymous Hypercar team has “done a lot of work” to prepare its LMH car for its second year of racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Glickenhaus Racing, the American automaker’s factory squad, will line up for its first WEC race with the Glickenhaus 007 Pipo in almost seven months next weekend when it takes part in the 1000 Miles of Sebring.
Company owner Glickenhaus explained that the manufacturer has worked through a handful of procedures during the off-season including the installation of brake-by-wire technology and the analysis of data from its three-race debut campaign last year.
It is using the same core squad of engineers from Italian firm Podium Advanced Technologies, combined with continued operational support from Joest Racing.
“We have done a lot of work to the 007,” Glickenhaus told Sportscar365.
“We took it completely apart and built it for Sebring. We inspected it and found that it held up very well. We had no surprises. We stripped off the wrap and inspected the body and the tub. We were very pleased with that.
“We have switched over to the bio-gasoline, as required, and have installed a brake-by-wire system which we think will help us.
“It is very important that you can go through the 24 hours without changing brakes, as we did last year. But there is degradation between the front and rear, so with the brake-by-wire we will be able to have better braking over the course of it.
“I think that we learned a lot more on setup and how the car handles. A tiny adjustment makes a huge difference on these Hypercars, so we’re fine-tuning that.
“We had no real huge problems, no fuel pickup problems or failures [in 2021]. I think the brake-by-wire will help us and the new tire sizing rules will help us.”
The installation of a Bosch-supplied brake-by-wire system is the main technological change on the Glickenhaus 007 since last season, however this does not count as one of the five available Evo jokers permitted during an LMH car’s homologation period.
Glickenhaus explained that the possibility to install brake-by-wire arose from discussions with the WEC organizers about how to approach the car’s Balance of Performance.
“After Le Mans, as I think everybody knows, we had some very serious discussions with the FIA and ACO,” he said.
“We said that we had no interest in showing up to be cannon fodder for a Toyota parade, and I think they agreed that we did not get a fair BoP at Le Mans.
“The Toyotas both had problems and we should have been faster. There were several issues that were discussed: there are changes to the tire regulations and you’re going to see changes to the regulations when all-wheel-drive can be used in wet conditions.
“The Toyotas were able to use slicks in some of the rainier, damp conditions on all-wheel-drive and gained a huge advantage last year.
“We pointed out to the ACO that they had to define ‘rain’ slightly differently. Honestly, I think they want us to race and want it to be fair.
“I think it’s a learning curve for us and we’re learning a lot. And I think they want to help us be as fast as we can be.
“They allowed brake-by-wire and it’s a very expensive thing for us to do, but we wanted to show good faith. We didn’t want to sit there and say that we’re done with the car, just make it as fast as possible.”
Glickenhaus’ reference to all-wheel-drive concerns a rule change whereby the requirement for such cars, specifically the Toyota GR010 Hybrids, to meet a minimum speed of 120 km/h in dry conditions before deploying hybrid power has been removed from the technical regulations and reassigned as a BoP implement.
He hopes that the non-hybrid 007’s new brake-by-wire system will help to maintain a higher level of braking performance over the course of a stint.
“You’re not allowed to have ABS, so [brake-by-wire] enables the drivers to have some control of the braking balance,” said Glickenhaus.
“It will allow us to use the brakes in a way that doesn’t degrade and destroy them prematurely.”
Romain Dumas, Olivier Pla and Ryan Briscoe will drive for Glickenhaus Racing at Sebring and are also expected to run the 6 Hours of Spa together, however that lineup is “subject to change” depending on availability and schedules according to Glickenhaus.
The team will then increase to a two-car entry for the 24 Hours of Le Mans where Pipo Derani, Richard Westbrook and Franck Mailleux are set to join the operation.
The manufacturer is also considering a third entry at Le Mans after the ACO reopened applications for the race on June 11-12. The window for new entries closes on Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET.
The No. 709 Glickenhaus is being sent to Podium Advanced Technologies in Italy where it will be prepared for Le Mans, while the No. 708 arrived in the Sebring paddock on Monday ahead of the Prologue test.
Glickenhaus kept its LMH cars in the company’s upstate New York facility during the off-season and flew in members of the Podium crew to work on the cars.
Glickenhaus Expecting “Learning Curve” at Sebring
The Glickenhaus 007 LMH is set to race on American soil for the first time next weekend, for what will be its maiden race outing at Sebring International Raceway.
A customer-owned 007 recently turned laps at the Florida circuit in the hands of Ferrari Challenge North America class champion Jason McCarthy for a filming day.
“I was very impressed with how fast Jason drove around Sebring, and that’s on last year’s harder compound tires with no setup changes,” said Glickenhaus.
“We’ve never driven the car in anger at Sebring, we don’t know about the setup and we’ll have to do a lot of tuning. I think it’s going to be a learning curve for us.
“I don’t expect we’re going to win Sebring or Spa, but we’re really going to go flat-out and let the FIA and ACO get data. We are hopeful that by Le Mans we will have a very good chance to win.”