24 Hours Centenary – Glickenhaus made sure he got it right

24 Hours Centenary – Glickenhaus made sure he got it right

24 HOURS CENTENARY – MAKES, MARQUES and IMPRINTS ⎮ A pioneer of the Hypercar class along with Toyota and Alpine, film director-producer turned constructor Jim Glickenhaus has earned the unanimous respect of the motorsport community. His passion and the foresight of his technical decisions and team member choices took him to the podium at the race in 2022.

Romain Dumas: "A privateer who decides to make his own car. Jim Glickenhaus’ insane gamble commands respect. When you look at the crews Jim Glickenhaus has put together, you can tell he loves racing and wants to get it right." The two-time winner and joint distance record holder (since 2010) gave high praise a few hours before Test Day in 2021 for the American constructor's rookie participation. 

Mk IV, 330 P4, 412 P and P4/5

Glickenhaus has been passionate about racing since childhood. At just 11 years old, he showed up at Luigi Chinetti's dealership and became friends with the three-time Le Mans winner and right-hand man of Enzo Ferrari in the U.S. He even attended the 1969 24 Hours. Jim Glickenhaus: "I remember everything, the crowds, the Ferris wheel, the food, the wine, the cars." Having made a personal fortune in Hollywood, he acquired three iconic cars from the epic Ford-Ferrari duel of 1967: the Ford Mk IV driven by Mark Donohue/Bruce McLaren, the Ferrari 330 P4 winner of the 1967 Rolex 24 at Daytona (also fielded at Le Mans) and another Ferrari, the 412 P entered by British importer Maranello Concessionaires.

He went even further in 2005 by having car designer Pininfarina, a longtime Ferrari partner, create a completely new car based on the last Ferrari Enzo still for sale. The Italian marque's president at the time, Luca di Montezemolo, even felt it deserved an official name, and so it became the Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina. In 2012, it won its class at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, finishing 12th overall.

A constructor launches an international casting call

Once Glickenhaus decided to try his hand at the 24 Hours as a constructor, he paid extremely close attention to his choice in partners. Reinhold Joest (the winningest team owner in the history of the race) for technical support, expert preparer Pipo (namely for Peugeot in rally) for engines and Podium Advanced Technologies for design and construction.

He also knew exactly how he wanted his Hypercar 007 LMH to look, with lines clearly reminiscent of the 1960: "The wind tunnel guys fought with me and I said I don’t care, I want the car to be beautiful. And I am very proud of how the car turned out."

The Glickenhaus 007 LMH proved as reliable as it was dazzling, finishing in the top 5 for its rookie 24 Hours thanks to Pipo Derani/Franck Mailleux/Olivier Pla (4th) and Ryan Briscoe/Romain Dumas/Richard Westbrook (5th). Three French drivers, one Brazilian, one Australian and a Brit to make up two veteran crews with remarkable track records in both prototypes and GT. Yet another impressive cast…

Two top 5s and a podium

Last year, the two 007 LMHs gained a spot, with Ryan Briscoe/Franck Mailleux/Richard Westbrook reaching the third step on the podium and Pipo Derani/Romain Dumas/Olivier Pla finishing fourth. "I am just trying to bring back the spirit of Mr. Chinetti, of Carroll Shelby, Jim Hall, Briggs Cunningham, Henri Pescarolo and Jean Rondeau, because these are people who changed the world. And I would try to do that in my small way."

There is no denying that without such extraordinary human beings and competitors, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and motorsport in general would not be the same. And the fact is that the tall and determined figure in the Indiana Jones hat has already earned his place in the race's hall of fame.

Glickenhaus' fundamentally independent and deeply original spirit will drive his team at the Centenary in a few weeks. Romain Dumas, Ryan Briscoe, Franck Mailleux and Olivier Pla will be back, joined by Nathanaël Berthon and Esteban Gutiérrez.


PHOTOS (Copyright - ACO/Archives): LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, 2021-2022 24 HOURS OF LE MANS. From top to bottom: Jim Glickenhaus in 2022; Jim Glickenhaus lured Romain Dumas, a two-time winner as a factory driver with Audi (2010) then Porsche (2016); the two Glickenhaus 007 LMHs on the pre-grid at their first 24 Hours in 2021; Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Jim Glickenhaus and Franck Mailleux (from left to right) on the third step of the overall podium in 2022.

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