Pescarolo-like Glickenhaus has strengths to exploit

Glickenhaus was among the first teams to commit to the Hypercar class in 2021 and has since turned its 007 LMH car into a respectable contender, scoring outright podiums at both Sebring and the Le Mans 24 Hours last year.

It also came close to a maiden victory at Monza after clinching pole position, until a rare turbo failure forced it into retirement.

However, it will have to face increased competition from big-budget car marques in the WEC this year, with the addition of Porsche, Cadillac and Ferrari taking the size of the Hypercar field to 13 cars.

Dumas admits that a lack of resources mean Glickenhaus can’t realistically expect to fight for the title heading into its third season in the category.

But he feels the near-bulletproof reliability of the non-hybrid 007 LMH, combined with the small size of the Glickenhaus operation, gives the outfit plenty of weapons to put up a fight to its its better-funded rivals, likening the team to popular 2000s privateer squad Pescarolo.

“Definitely now the game is higher with all these big brands,” said the Frenchman. “But at the end of the day we have to use our strengths. Reliability normally for sure is on our side, except in Monza, but it was one time in two years [where we had a failure]. 

“It’s also an advantage somehow when you are in a small group, to have less pressure, that will also be a good point for us.

“To say that we will win the world championship or Le Mans, I think will not be so realistic. But on the other hand we are very close in performance, so I think it’s a strong point also. 

“We are all motivated like crazy. Who knows, we have to take our chance for sure. I think we are lucky to have such a crazy boss to continue to be completely on the private side playing with the big companies. 

“We are a little bit like Pescarolo 15 years ago and not so many people have done that in the last 15 years. So first of all respect and we go for it.”

#708 Glickenhaus Racing Glickenhaus 007 LMH of Olivier Pla, Romain Dumas, Pipo Derani

#708 Glickenhaus Racing Glickenhaus 007 LMH of Olivier Pla, Romain Dumas, Pipo Derani

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Glickenhaus skipped the final two races of the 2022 WEC season in Japan and Bahrain for budgetary reasons, which means the 007 LMH hasn’t been driven competitively since the 6 Hours of Monza back in July.

Like fellow incumbents Toyota and Peugeot, it also has to adjust to the ban on tyre warmers, providing an extra challenge for both drivers and engineers to get heat into the tyres as quickly as possible on the outlap.

But Dumas feels the Glickenhaus can perform competitively once the championship heads to Europe after the season opener at Sebring, believing the Balance of Performance system will play a major role in giving the team a fair chance against the opposition.

“When I hear about or speak about these new tyres, there are a lot of question marks,” he explained. ”I can tell you Michelin didn’t send a lot of invoices to Glickenhaus in the last two months [for testing]. 

“Sebring will be tough. But when it would be after [that] in Europe, [it should get better]. Spa should already be not too bad for us, [at] Monza we will be there. Fuji is the right track also for our car. It’s a long championship, we have a different target. 

“I think the only good chance we have is that we know the car for the last two years. 

“It’s a BoP category, it’s nothing compared to what we knew about the last 15 years. It’s not only about performance, it’s reliability and BoP. 

“For sure, to have only a two-wheel drive car with so much power with the tyres compared to four-wheel drive, it’s not an easy way. But again at the end of the day BoP will play a big role here.”

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