SPORT NEWS – Hypercar debut beckons for Glickenhaus

Hypercar debut beckons for Glickenhaus

This weekend’s 8 Hours of Portimao is about to be an enormous one for Jim Glickenhaus and his plucky American group Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. For a second consecutive weekend, his crew is being thrust into the limelight for a serious endurance race. Final week it was the Nurburgring 24 Hours with the Chevrolet V8-powered 004C GT racer, this weekend it’s the debut of the group’s 007 Le Mans Hypercar within the FIA WEC.

Glickenhaus’ journey to the highest of sportscar racing has been a difficult however fascinating one. The sheer willpower of the New Yorker and his drive to take the battle to blue chip producers with automobiles designed and constructed in-house is one thing that has all too typically been lacking from elite-level sportscar racing lately. Funds ranges are accountable: constructing a bespoke race automobile able to competing alongside main OEM efforts has change into not possible for all however a choose few rich privateer groups.

Earlier than waiting for the prospects of the group this weekend, it’s price taking a fast journey down reminiscence lane. Glickenhaus has change into a mainstay on the Nurburgring 24 Hours because it debuted the custom-built SCG P 4/5 Competitzione in 2011, primarily based on the underpinnings of a Ferrari 430 racer. After two VLN appearances on the Nordschleife, the automobile completed second within the SPX class for non-homologated automobiles, thirty ninth total, within the near-200 automobile subject for the 24 Hours.

From there the automobile, and group, turned a agency fan favourite and got here again yr after yr with the identical aim of profitable the race total with newer, extra subtle equipment. Glickenhaus hasn’t achieved that concentrate on but, nevertheless it has had greater than a handful of memorable moments. Maybe probably the most vital was taking pole place for the race in 2017 with its 003C pushed by Jeff Westphal, incomes the pole award trophy donated to the race organizers by none aside from Jim Glickenhaus himself.

Glickenhaus’ dream of profitable all of it on the ‘Inexperienced Hell’ remains to be a precedence, although a lot of the main focus has shifted to its formidable Le Mans Hypercar program. The non-hybrid Pipo Motors-powered 007 Le Mans Hypercar that the group will subject this weekend towards Toyota and Alpine has been virtually three years within the making.

Loads of observers questioned the credibility of this system when it was first revealed in late 2018, however by staying trustworthy, modest and devoted to the trigger (via one of the crucial commercially difficult instances in latest reminiscence), Glickenhaus has managed to show the naysayers unsuitable. True, the automobile’s debuted was delayed to Spherical 2 of the season, and sure, there’s just one chassis set to race (for now – each automobiles are set to race subsequent month at Monza, after which on the Le Mans in August). However the group is on website at Portimao with a automobile that has been via a gruelling take a look at program and is able to race.

These throughout the program have had solely optimistic suggestions to offer on the twin-turbo V6 007 all through testing. RACER spoke to Californian driver Gustavo Menezes earlier this yr and was assured that up shut, the automobile’s construct high quality and efficiency is spectacular.

The group’s No.708 chassis “ran like a prepare” in its latest 30-hour take a look at at Aragon, and had only one minor concern with {an electrical} connector throughout its run of virtually 5000km. That take a look at is the explanation just one automobile will compete this weekend – the No.708 is being re-built round an improved and lighter chassis, whereas the already upgraded sister No.709 is being tasked with collaborating within the group’s first WEC race weekend.

Getting on the rostrum won’t be straightforward at Algarve even with solely three different automobiles within the class. The circuit is a troublesome one and the competitors can be harder. Competing towards the likes of Toyota and its new GR010 Hybrids and Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 was by no means going to be straightforward, so with a model new automobile, making the end, forward of the well-proven and well-run WEC LMP2 automobiles, will certainly be the primary precedence.

The BoP which governs the category could maintain issues nearer than anticipated although. Forward of the weekend the newest bulletin revealed that the Toyotas and Alpine must run with weight will increase of 26kg and 22kg respectively after the opener at Spa. The Glickenhaus in the meantime, will run at 1030kg, the bottom doable weight for a automobile within the LMH class. It’s going to even be permitted extra power throughout every stint than its opponents.

It will absolutely increase the boldness ranges of Glickenhaus and his squad, particularly as he is aware of his trio of drivers are greater than able to delivering a shock consequence. IndyCar star Ryan Briscoe, Le Mans winner and WEC champion Romain Dumas and Rolex 24 class winner Richard Westbrook will share duties behind the wheel.

No matter occurs, what should not be forgotten is that that is merely the first step. The group’s pseudo residence race at Monza (Glickenhaus’ WEC effort relies in Podium Engineering in Milan, Italy) follows Portimao subsequent month, the place the group plans to debut its second automobile. The WEC groups then journey to France in August for the Le Mans 24 Hours; and that’s when the enjoyable actually begins…

SPORT NEWS – Hypercar debut beckons for Glickenhaus


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