Saturday, March 2, 2024

The unused Glickenhaus 007 LMH upgrade package

Podium Advanced Technologies designed a substantial set of performance upgrades for the Glickenhaus 007 Pipo that ultimately never made it on to the American company’s LMH car.

Images of models based on simulations, obtained by Racecar Engineering, show plans for a revised aerodynamic package that was drawn up in 2022 and could have been ready to use last year.

The upgrades were mainly aimed at enhancing stability under high downforce conditions, increasing airflow to the underfloor and reducing the power of the cooling system.

Podium served as the technical partner for the Glickenhaus 007, which appeared in three FIA World Endurance Championship seasons competing in the top Hypercar class.

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‘If you look back to our programme, it’s clear that in the last two years, the car was strong in terms of reliability and performance on high-speed, low-downforce tracks like Monza and Le Mans,’ said Luca Ciancetti, Glickenhaus Racing team principal and Podium’s head of automotive and motorsport.

‘In general, we were probably lacking aero performance in terms of downforce and, mainly, in terms of downforce stability. To be able to use the aero platform in a wider window with different set-ups, that was really the key lack of performance of the car as we were already at the minimum weight and maximum power.’

Ciancetti added that the changing face of the LMH regulations, which saw power levels raised to accommodate the Aston Martin Valkyrie and then reduced when the British manufacturer initially pulled out, left Glickenhaus with an overly powerful cooling system from the outset.

‘Removing some air flow from the coolers gave us some freedom to manage the downforce better,’ he said.

After several years of fielding GT cars at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, Glickenhaus became one of the first manufacturers to commit to the LMH regulations that replaced LMP1. The non-hybrid 007 made its debut in the second round of the 2021 season at Portimao.

Spearheaded by American film producer, financier and petrolhead Jim Glickenhaus, the programme enlisted the services of Podium and legendary sportscar team Joest Racing to go up against much larger OEMs. Glickenhaus took his team to the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times and achieved a third-place finish in 2022, which marked the high point in terms of results.

(XPB)

Towards the end of last year, Glickenhaus confirmed that he would not be filing an entry for the 2024 WEC season, signalling the end of his Hypercar adventure for the foreseeable future. As the grid expanded dramatically with Ferrari, Porsche and Cadillac joining, the chances of further Glickenhaus podiums rapidly diminished. By 2023, the 007 was seen as a car that was reasonably reliable, but could have done with some performance upgrades to be competitive.

As it turns out, those upgrades were actually conceived at Podium’s headquarters in Italy. But with Glickenhaus choosing to focus on other areas of his business rather than keep pushing to fund an expensive LMH effort, they never sprung out from the computer screen.

‘This “Evo” was actually designed and CFD tested last year, before the 2023 season,’ explained Ciancetti. ‘But mainly for budget and timing constraints – at least when we had the budget for races – it was too late to integrate it, so it was never finalised in terms of development. However, the results from the simulation were really promising.’

For more images of the Glickenhaus 007 update package and the full story, check out the March issue of Racecar Engineering. Available now!

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