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WEC Monza

Glickenhaus convinced Monza WEC win was still on despite penalty

Glickenhaus believes it would have been able to come back from a penalty in Sunday’s MonzaWorld Endurance Championship round to challenge for victory but for its dramatic turbo failure. 

#708 Glickenhaus Racing Glickenhaus 007 LMH of Olivier Pla, Romain Dumas, Pipo Derani

Technical director Luca Ciancetti suggested that the pace of the Glickenhaus 007 LMH shared by Romain Dumas, Pipo Derani and Olivier Pla would have brought it back into contention over the second half of the six-hour race after it lost of a lead of more than 50s late in the third hour. 

That advantage was wiped out by a safety car, and then the drive-through penalty taken immediately after the race went green left the car 30s behind race leader Mike Conway in the #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid.

“We were thinking it was still possible to win,” Ciancetti told Autosport.

“By keeping running at the pace we had at the beginning, I think we would have been fighting for the win: I think it would have been very close.”

Dumas and then Derani were able to build up a lead of 52s in the space of the two and half hours on a day that the qualifying speed of the car was fully converted into race pace.

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The team then had to take a drive-through penalty picked up by Derani at the end of second hour for exceeding the 80km/h maximum speed during a Full Course Yellow virtual safety car. 

The Brazilian handed over to Pla during the safety car, which was called after Henrique Chaves crashed heavily at the second chicane in the GTE Am TF Sport Aston Martin, but the Frenchman had to return to the pits because a drive-through cannot be taken under the safety car. 

Five laps after Pla took the penalty, smoke started pouring from the right-side exhaust of the Pipo V8 twin-turbo engine and the car retired. 

 

Ciancetti explained that the team suspected turbo failure, but couldn’t be more specific ahead of a proper analysis.

“It looks like turbo failure, probably a defective component because we were within the mileage [the life of the part] and everything seemed under control,” he said.

He ruled out the 13kW or 17-18bhp increase in maximum power for the Glickenhaus at Monza under the Balance of Performance being a factor in the engine problem. 

Ciancetti refused to speculate on what role the BoP break for the team played in its domination of the event before the retirement. 

“I leave the analysis to the BoP guys; I let them do their job,” he said. 

But Ciancetti did express satisfaction with the performance of the team and the car, particularly in terms of the execution of the race and its pace over a double stint on a set of Michelin tyres.

“The BoP, of course, helped us, but the car was set up very well,” he explained. “We did nothing wrong in any department: the mechanics were perfect at every pitstop and we made the right strategy calls.

“And we had good pace over a double stint: in Pipo’s second stint the #7 Toyota was on new tyres and we were on old tyres and we were not doing too badly.”

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