One of our racing partners at FORZO - Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus – returned to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year and secured a landmark achievement, sealing a third place podium behind the Toyota giants. An incredible accomplishment for a small team from New York, given that this was only their second time running in the top class.
And from the very beginning of this remarkable story in 2020, when the boutique hypercar manufacturer from New York decided to take on the biggest carmakers in the world, FORZO was chosen as Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus’s official watch partner.
According to team principal Jim Glickenhaus, the team is now the first American manufacturer to finish on the podium at Le Mans in the top class since 1967 (the GT40s that achieved a similar feat in 1969 weren't actually made by Ford, so they don’t count).
The Glickenhaus crew that finished on the podium consisted of Australian Ryan Briscoe, Frenchman Franck Mailleux, and Richard Westbrook from England: all of them experienced racers who didn’t put a foot wrong.
Watching over them from the pit wall all day and all night was none other than the boss: Jim Glickenhaus, as ever with his FORZO watch strapped to his wrist. FORZO watches were also supplied to the drivers, with the other crew consisting of Brazilian Pipo Derani, and Frenchmen Romain Dumas (a former Le Mans winner) and Olivier Pla. They hit some problems, but still fought back to follow the other car home across the line.
“We feel great,” said Jim. “It was a gruelling weekend—we had some good luck and some bad luck – but we fought through it. We had to repair the one car, losing about 12 minutes. That put the car back to about 19th, but we pushed hard and got it back up to fourth by the finish. “I think we showed people that a small manufacturer has a chance. It’s been emotional.”
Owners of the bespoke Glickenhaus FORZO watches were able to share the excitement from anywhere in the world, thanks to a dedicated WhatsApp group for Glickenhaus watch customers, with everyone following the action closely and able to ask the team questions in real time.
Even the team’s rivals were impressed. Toyota technical director Pascal Vasselon was one of the first to pay tribute to the efforts put in by the Glickenhaus squad, operating on a fraction of the budget of the big teams. “They could do the same times on a clear track, so on pure potential they were on the same level as us,” he said. “They just lacked consistency in certain conditions.”
The Glickenhaus cars lined up in fourth and fifth on the grid for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, which got underway at 4pm on Saturday 12 June: reflected by the 24-hour timer subdial on the FORZO Glickenhaus watch. The cars enjoyed a reliable run to the finish, with the #709 car that finished third (one place ahead of its sister car) requiring only a sensor change in the second hour. As a result, Glickenhaus is now realistically targeting the top step of the podium of the toughest race in the world..
“We don't go down easy,” concluded Jim Glickenhaus. “We always get up and we come back hard. We are Glickenhaus. All of you and all of us."