Harry Tincknell on form to take fourth in Masters of F3
Harry Tincknell put in a competitive performance in the RTL GP Masters of Formula 3 race at Zandvoort to come away from the Dutch circuit with fourth place.
The 21-year-old from Devon was making his debut in the Masters of F3, a one-off non-championship race that is regarded as the category’s most prestigious event in Europe. Driving his usual Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen from the FIA F3 European Championship, he qualified an excellent second fastest to start from the front row of the grid.
While it was Tincknell’s first race appearance at Zandvoort, he had done much work with his Dutch race engineer at the Carlin team, Stefan de Groot, who knows the circuit intimately having raced – and won – there many times.
“I got to do a test in a Formula Renault car,” said Harry, “and it was good to have been around the circuit because you have a good idea of how it feels rather than having to guess.
“But the F3 car obviously has a lot more downforce, which requires a different driving style. Even so, I picked things up pretty quickly in the F3 car and was on it straight away.”
While Tincknell outqualified a host of drivers with F3 experience of Zandvoort, he was unable to dislodge poleman Felix Rosenqvist, who had already won the Masters in 2011. “I would have to have been quickest from my team on every single corner to have been on his pace,” he said. “Zandvoort has so many different kinds of corners that suit different driving styles. Possibly with a little bit more experience there, and getting a good lap in on the first lap with the tyres at their best, I could possibly have matched him, but even so I felt I got as much as I could out of the car and the tyres.”
Unfortunately, Harry lost two places at the start and was never able to regain them, but he was well clear of the chasing pack and took a comfortable fourth position.
“Going into the weekend, I would have said fourth place would be a very solid result, with my first time on the Kumho tyres that are used in the Masters, and my first time on the track against people with a lot of experience there.
“I just had to go for broke off the line because I said to myself that there’s no point finishing second in the Masters – it’s all about winning. I was maybe a little too aggressive and had too much wheelspin on the dirty side of the grid.
“I tried to save the tyres and then come back at the guys ahead later on in the race, but then my own tyres started going off so that made it impossible to catch them. Our qualifying pace is good, but we still have a little bit of work to do at the team on our race pace.”
As well as his strong finish, Harry – in conjunction with Alex Lynn – also brought Great Britain the victory in the Nations Cup.
“It was a good weekend overall, but you just expect more when you start from the front row… Still, it was vital experience for me because we are racing at Zandvoort again as part of the European championship in September.”
Tincknell’s next event is next weekend, with the sixth round of the FIA F3 European Championship on the Norisring street circuit in Nuremberg, Germany. Hopes are high, as Harry has already won on this track, in 2012.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “It was probably my best race weekend of the season in 2012, with a race win against all the top European championship guys. It will be a total contrast to Zandvoort, as we’ll be going from as much downforce as you can get to as little as possible! But I know the track well, I’ve won there before and I’m hoping to at least repeat that.”