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Goetz at Sebring for “First Step” Experience With Glickenhaus

DTM champion Goetz shadowing Glickenhaus team at Sebring ahead of likely race seat…

Photo: Mercedes-AMG

2021 DTM champion Maximilian Goetz is on-site with Glickenhaus during the FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue at Sebring, in the “first step” of an association with the team that could result in a 24 Hours of Le Mans drive.

The Mercedes-AMG factory driver was on the Glickenhaus pit wall in team apparel during the first day of the official pre-season test in Florida but is not turning any laps.

German media on Thursday reported that Goetz is in the frame for a Le Mans drive with Jim Glickenhaus’ squad, driving one of its two Glickenhaus 007 Pipos in Hypercar.

Addressing the reports, Goetz told Sportscar365 that the two parties have been in contact “since a while” and that they first got in touch through their involvement at the Nürburgring 24.

“My dream was always to do endurance racing at this high level,” Goetz said.

“We are on it to figure out what we are able to do, if it comes together or not. It’s a good chance to learn all the people and how the team works.

“I learn about the car, what the guys are saying about setup and what it develops, so we are not sure what we’re doing this year.”

When asked if his target is to make his Le Mans debut, Goetz replied: “Yes, absolutely. We are not so far at the moment, but it’s nice to have the shirt on and be involved.

“It’s the first step, I would say.”

The 37-year-old has some leeway in his schedule this year, considering he is no longer part of Mercedes-AMG’s lineup in the DTM.

Goetz remains contracted to AMG, a company he has been affiliated with for just over a decade, and is expected to compete in other GT3 series with the brand this season.

“I have a long-term contract with [Mercedes-AMG], but unfortunately they’re not doing this kind of racing,” he said.

“In the end, if there are no clashes, I have the freedom to do something.”

Goetz added that he was impressed with the Glickenhaus LMH operation at Sebring, where teams are testing this weekend ahead of Friday’s season-opening race.

“I know this from the Class One DTM times, how the people work. The structure is really similar. And the car itself: there’s a lot of aero and a lot of power.

“It’s the top category in WEC and even in world endurance racing. It would be nice to be part of it.”

Jim Glickenhaus acknowledged Goetz’s potential role with the team in the WEC and highlighted the benefits of signing a driver with ties to budget sources.

Having Goetz on board would introduce a new sponsor to Glickenhaus – water treatment company BWT – which would give the manufacturer a financial boost for its LMH effort.

“Maxi is here, he’s a great driver and a friend from the Nürburgring,” Glickenhaus told Sportscar365.

“I do think that, at some point, Maxi will be driving for us. We are hopeful that it brings us some sponsorship.

“We could really stand tall and do some stuff. Nothing would make me happier.

“If something like that does not happen, at a certain point I’m going to say: this was great, I’m going to climb other mountains.”

Sportscar365 understands that Goetz is likely to debut with the team at the 6 Hours of Spa in late April, followed by Le Mans in June.

It’s unclear if the potential Spa drive would be in an additional second Glickenhaus or the team’s planned full-season No. 708 entry.

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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