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Glickenhaus “Still Has Things to Improve” After Leading Test Day

Glickenhaus buoyed by topping Le Mans test; team manager explains different approaches to cars…

Photo: MPS Agency

Glickenhaus Racing’s team manager says the Hypercar squad “still has things to improve” during the 24 Hours of Le Mans build-up after Olivier Pla set the fastest lap of the official pre-event test day.

Pla posted a time of 3:29.115 on Sunday evening to send the No. 708 Glickenhaus 007 LMH to the top of the 62-car leaderboard, beating the rival entries from Toyota and Alpine.

After the second of two test sessions, Glickenhaus’ Luca Ciancetti said that the Podium and Joest-supported team was buoyed by going fastest, but also acknowledged that more work needs to be done in the sessions leading up to next weekend’s race.

“It’s the first time we have come to Le Mans with this car, so we are trying to find out all of the performance,” Ciancetti told Sportscar365.

“We are not hiding anything, so we are just trying to do the best we can. It was a good session. There are still some things to improve on the car, some small issues.

“We did not do as many laps as possible, which is the proof that we are still working. We are happy, anyway. We can say that we are not far away.”

Ciancetti explained that Glickenhaus split its approach to the test day between the two cars.

The No. 708 machine driven by Pla, Pipo Derani, Franck Mailleux and Gustavo Menezes completed a total of 70 laps in the nine hours of available track time, while the No. 709 of Romain Dumas, Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe made 69 circuits of the 8.5-mile course.

While the No. 708 ended up topping the timesheets, the No. 709 sister car placed fifth, almost two seconds off the outright pace, but Ciancetti explained why this was the case.  

“We have to go through the data and see how the car is behaving,” he said.

“We did two very different jobs on the two cars, working on different topics. One car was working more on setup and the other was working more on control settings.

“This is the reason why we have had a difference of performance between the two cars.

“The No. 708 was working on setup. Now we have to merge everything together and see if we can find something between the output we did with one car, and the output we did with the other one.

“I can tell you that it’s been a very good testing day.”

Team More Optimistic About Brake Longevity

From a reliability standpoint, Ciancetti suggested that Glickenhaus is in a “much better position” at Le Mans than it was at Monza where it suffered high brake wear.

The No. 709 car took the lead of the previous WEC round when the No. 7 Toyota hit trouble, however Romain Dumas was only able to enjoy a few corners at the head of the field because he needed to pit for a costly brake change.

The Monza race, which also included an electrical issue that affected shifting on the No. 708 entry, raised questions over the Glickenhaus pairing’s reliability over 24 hours.

“We are in a much better condition here, because the track is much less aggressive on the brakes,” explained Ciancetti.

“Also we are managing to set them up in a better way. I believe we still need to have a deep look at the data from today, but it doesn’t look too bad at the moment.

“At Monza we only had one issue on the No. 709 so we were not full of problems over the weekend.

“Reliability-wise, the car is young. We didn’t test a lot, but it’s a reliable car anyway. Here we have, luckily, more chances over this test and the week to set up the package for the race.

“So I believe that we did a good job today. I hope that we will be ready at the start of the 24 Hours with the car in the best shape possible.”

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

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