It wasn't the dream start Glickenhaus Racing was probably hoping for the debut race of its 007 Le Mans Hypercar, with the team suffering excessive tire wear, a crash and a clutch replacement.
After missing the opening round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship in May, Glickenhaus showed up to round two, the 8 Hours of Portimao held on Saturday at Portugal's Algarve International Circuit, with the single number 709 007 LMH piloted by Ryan Briscoe, Romain Dumas, and Richard Westbrook.
Considering the 007 is a newly developed car from a small team, it showed a lot of promise early on. After two hours of racing, the car was running sixth and hitting top speeds close to those of top rivals from Toyota and Alpine, though it was soon a lap down, possibly due in part to excessive tire wear reported by Westbrook who was first behind the wheel.
No. 709 Glickenhaus 007 LMH at the 2021 8 Hours of Portimao
Things got worse when Briscoe was behind the wheel. He came into contact with an Aston Martin Vantage of D'station Racing. While the Aston was forced to retire, the 007 was back on the track after some checks. However, the clutch started to slip so the car was called back in for a repair. With all the setbacks, the 007 still finished the race, albeit 30th overall.
The win went to the no. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid, though here too there was some drama in the final stage. Sebastian Buemi was behind the wheel, ahead of Jose Maria Lopez in the no. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid, when he received team orders to let Lopez past before being handed the lead once again. In third place was the no. 36 Alpine A480 grandfathered LMP1.
Glickenhaus will have a chance to redeem itself at the 6 Hours of Monza on July 16. The main event of the WEC, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, is scheduled for the weekend starting August 21.