Your chance to race a Glickenhaus Hypercar at Le Mans – for £5million

Le Mans News

The 2022 Le Mans 24 Hours entry list has been reopened. And Glickenhaus is offering an extra Hypercar entry to the right drivers

709 Westbrook Richard (gbr), Dumas Romain (fra), Mailleux Frack (fra), Glickenhaus Racing, Glickenhaus 007 LMH, action during the 6 Hours of Monza, 3rd round of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship, FIA WEC, on the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, from July 16th to 18th, 2021 in Monza, Italy - Photo Paulo Maria / DPPI

Paulo Maria / DPPI

If the biggest race in sports cars is your thing and you have a spare €6m (£5m) in the bank, then you might just want to shelve any holiday, DIY or other plans that you have for June 11 and 12.

Jim Glickenhaus is offering what he describes as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to race your own Hypercar at Le Mans this year and battle Toyota for overall victory.

The American Glickenhaus team owner says that he has been offered a third slot in the race after the entry list was reopened. It follows restrictions on Russian drivers due to the invasion of Ukraine, and Peugeot’s announcement that it will not enter its 9X8 Hypercar for the 24 Hour enduro this year.

You have to be quick though – the deadline for registering is at 2pm GMT on Wednesday, giving teams a 48 hour window to enter, and top-level racing experience is a prerequisite.

Glickenhaus earlier today released what appeared to be a casual tweet advertising the opportunity. Now the team owner has confirmed to Motor Sport that the offer is indeed genuine, and that the team is enthusiastic to make it a reality.

“As you know, the WEC threw all the Russians out, and this makes a lot of room at Le Mans,” said Jim Glickenhaus. “So they let us know that if we wanted to make another entry in the next 48 hours they would be OK with that, so we put it [the tweet] out.

“We could actually build and have a third car ready. Obviously, there are terms and conditions: we would have to enter it, there would be the cost of the car and the race – but it’s a lot less than people might think to have a Le Mans Hypercar racing at La Sarthe, and it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Glickenhaus described the package and cost in detail, articulating what it takes to race at the highest level in endurance racing’s most gruelling event.

“You could keep racing it – or have the best track day car in the world!”

“This would include the car, all the spares, tyres, the drivers at the level we race,” he says. “If someone came with drivers, we’d be very open about it.

“You’d wind up with a car, you’d own the car. Look, when you were done with it, if you wanted you could keep racing it – or have the best track day car in the world!”

Although the price might sound eye-watering to many, it’s relatively cheap compared to previous factory Le Mans efforts, and certainly dwarfed by Formula 1 budgets.

“Probably with drivers, spares, tires, the car and a first class entrant [driver] at Le Mans, it could be six to eight million euros,” he says.

From the archive

The ACO has previously stated that any Hypercar entrant wishing to enter Le Mans must enter the full WEC season also, but Glickenhaus says that has not yet been specified for this potential new entry.

“If they said you had to race the rest of the WEC season, that would add to the cost,” he says. “If they didn’t, it could be closer to six million euros.”

The new-for-2023 LMDh class has been introduced in part as a more cost-effective top-level alternative to Hypercars, but Glickenhaus thinks he believes his offer could be even cheaper — based on the rumoured price he’s heard quoted to run one of Porsche’s cars from 2023.

“We wouldn’t mark it up, beyond what we would need to build the car,” he says. “I’m not going to sell a car for exactly what it cost me to build it, but on the other hand…

“The numbers that I’ve heard from Porsche on the LMDh are that the car and the budget that you need to commit to is over 10 million euros.

“The 007 is a much more sophisticated car, it’s a battle-proven car, it’s much lower running costs to be honest with you, especially with the non-hybrid engine.”

708 Derani Pipo (bra), Mailleux Franck (fra), Pla Olivier (fra), Glickenhaus Racing, Glickenhaus 007 LMH, action during the Le Mans test day prior the 4th round of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship, FIA WEC, on the Circuit de la Sarthe, on August 15, 2021 in Le Mans, France - Photo Joao Filipe / DPPI

Glickenhaus 007 made its Le Mans debut last year

Joao Filipe / DPPI

The entry list for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours should have been published last week but Le Mans organiser, the ACO, announced earlier today that there were now spaces available as a result of the FIA restrictions which require Russian drivers to race under a neutral flag. G-Drive announced the withdrawal of its LMP2 entry at the weekend, saying that the requirement was “discriminatory”

“Recent measures taken by international sporting bodies following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops affect motorsport teams and drivers,” the ACO said in a statement. “The selection committee has therefore decided to invite new applications for the 2022 24 Hours of Le Mans for a limited 48-hour period.”

Glickenhaus believes his Hypercar, which finished fourth in last year’s race, combined with the Balance of Performance (BoP) tweaks to level the top playing field, makes his £5m asking price an attractive proposition.

“I think the things you will see in a couple of days when the BoP changes, is that we’re gonna have a real chance to win this thing,” he says.

Related article

Glickenhaus warns that entrants have to be serious, and drivers need to be up to a certain standard, whilst saying the exact requirements have still not been specified. He adds that he thinks it may be unlikely any other Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) manufacturers will make their cars available to buy.

“The ACO is not gonna let someone buy one of our cars and show up on their own and race it like they would an LMP2,” he says.

“In terms of drivers, I think that if you had a really serious AM [Le Mans-level driver], who had raced in LMP2, a guy like Ben Keating, for example, they certainly might let him drive and have others drive with him, but they’re not going to let someone in who’s going to be 10 seconds a lap slower – right? They’re not gonna let my son drive!

“Look, we’re all in uncharted waters with this thing – I don’t think anybody knows. If you want an LMH, I think we may be the only one you can buy [now or in the future]. Toyota certainly aren’t gonna sell Hypercars.

“We will sell one of our cars to anyone who wants to race it, pays a fair price for us and wants to join us. And I think you can see that they [the ACO and Le Mans] need cars [for a bigger Le Mans field.”

Time to raid the piggy bank.

You may also like