Although Glickenhaus is an American brand, its race cars are built in Italy at Podium Advanced Technologies. Luca Ciancetti is the company’s head of engineering and leads the hypercar project. During the SCG LMH007 roll out he explains the ins and outs of developing a race car.
Luca, we’re here in Vallelunga, joining you at the first test of the Glickenhaus LMH007. What’s the goal of this test?
As it is only the first test, we’re rolling out the car and ensuring all of the primary functions work correctly. This test is definitely not about performance. We test and calibrate all the main systems such as the engine and drivetrain and subsystems like cooling and tyres. When designing this car, we have set several performance targets and we need to make sure that we achieve all of our initial targets before we can really start to look at speed.
With Podium and Glickenhaus, it’s definitely not the first time you developed a race car. What was it like to start this hypercar project?
The hypercar is an entirely new category and concept. There is nothing we can look back at to compare it to. We started with a clean sheet. We need to build a car that performs well across the board, therefore we are also relying on a performance oil brand as Motul to keep the inside of the engine in perfect shape. It’s a very steep challenge but one that is a lot of fun as well.
After this test, it’s still a long way to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Where does the development go from here?
Once we know that all the systems work as they should, we can look at speed and start tyre testing with Michelin. The final step would be to look at reliability and endurance. To achieve this, we’ll do a 30-hour test so we can make sure the car will last 24 hours and more.
For the upcoming WEC season, you’ll have a star-lined driver roster. Today Franck Mailleux and Romain Dumas are sharing the driving duties. How much impact does a driver have in the early development of a car like this?
No matter how much data we have, the feedback of the driver is instrumental in this process. Having someone like Romain Dumas roll out the car is great because his feedback is very detailed, and his experience means that he knows what to look for in a winning endurance machine. We’re also very happy to have Franck here because he’s been with us for over five years, we know him very well, and he knows how the team works.