Sportscar specialist Westbrook, who has had stints as a Porsche and a Chevrolet factory driver, declared the team ready for Portimao after a series of tests that started in February and culminated with a 30-hour endurance simulation at the Aragon circuit in Spain last month. He pointed that the new car had yet to run into issues with any of its driveline components.
“In all the testing we’ve done, including the 30-hour test at Aragon, we’ve never had a major reliability issue,” he explained. “In terms of the major components — the engine, the gearbox and the suspension — everything has been 100% from the beginning.”
Should Glickenhaus maintain that reliability into Sunday’s race it could have a fighting chance against Toyota and Alpine. The rules for the Hypercar division, which from 2023 will also incorporate LMDh prototypes based on LMP2 machinery, are framed to give everyone a sporting chance. Like it or not, Hypercar is a Balance of Performance category and that levelling of the playing field that is now part of the game at the pinnacle of sportscar racing has already taken effect.
The Toyotas have been pegged back for this race on the basis of data accrued by the rule makers, WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the FIA, on the Glickenhaus, which included measuring its aerodynamic efficiency in the Sauber Formula 1 team’s windtunnel. The GR010s are running 26kg heavier than first time out at Spa and have been handed a minor reduction in engine performance equivalent to seven brake horse power.
The arrival of Glickenhaus in the WEC means the ACO and the FIA have been able to come up with what they call a starting BoP. That’s to distinguish it from the rolling BoP, which is based on data gathered in the races.
It’s still too early to predict what Glickenhaus can achieve on its WEC debut, but if the BoP is correct and the 007 proves as reliable as it has in testing, it could keep its class rivals honest at least. The target surely has to be for the team to pick up the pieces if its rivals run into problems.