Devon Driver Records Rostrum Finish on World Championship Debut
Tincknell, Dolan and Gené score excellent second place in Le Mans “warm-up”
Harry Tincknell scored a top-three rostrum place finish on his FIA World Endurance Championship debut last weekend (3 May).
Tincknell, Simon Dolan and Marc Gené brought their Zytek Z11SN home an excellent second in Belgium helping Kent-based JOTA Sport achieve its third top-three result at Spa-Francorchamps in consecutive years.
The Tincknell/Dolan/Gené Zytek finished 71.196secs behind the LMP2 class winning car in the Spa 6 Hours which marked Harry’s and the British team’s first of two FIA World Endurance Championship appearances in 2014.
JOTA Sport, which had won the LMP2 class in the corresponding race in 2012 and finished third last year, qualified fourth fastest in the ultra-competitive LMP2 field thanks to the efforts of Tincknell and Gené in difficult and ever-changing conditions the previous day.
The time trials had seen the Zytek equipped with Dunlop “wet” weather, intermediate and ultimately “slick” tyres as the track progressively dried throughout the 30mins session on Friday evening.
The sun was shining and rain long gone for the start of the race on Saturday afternoon which saw Tincknell take second place after the opening scheduled pit-stop phase for fuel with 42mins gone.
Tincknell, who was not only making his WEC debut but having his first race for JOTA Sport after not actually getting into the Zytek for the Silverstone ELMS race following Dolan’s unfortunate accident, handed over the second-placed Zytek to Simon with 90mins on the clock.
Solid stints from Dolan saw the Monaco-based Briton give the car to three-time Spa 6 Hour outright race winner Gené actually placed first during another pit-stop phase at mid-distance.
Gené, on loan from Audi Sport for Spa and the Le Mans 24 Hours and making his JOTA Sport race debut, ran impressively giving the Zytek, again heading its class during out of synch pits-stops with its rivals, to Tincknell for the final 35mins run to the chequered flag.
JOTA Sport used a monocoque from two years ago for the Spa race after the massive accident suffered by Dolan while leading the opening European Le Mans Series race at Silverstone on Easter Saturday that had necessitated a herculean effort by the team.
Next race for JOTA is the second ELMS race of the season at Imola (17-18 May) before the Le Mans 24 Hours (14-15 June).
Harry Tincknell (GB). Age: 22. Born: Exeter, Devon. Lives: Sidmouth, Devon (GB):
“To finish my first WEC race on the podium is very satisfying. At Silverstone I proved I was quick over one lap when I claimed pole-position but hopefully I’ve shown the team that I have good race pace in traffic and that I’m able to manage my fuel consumption too.
“In my opening stint, I lost time behind the LMP1 Rebellion of ex-Formula One driver Nick Heidfeld who was fast in a straight line but slower than me around corners. It was a perfect two days and sets me up nicely not only for the next ELMS race but Le Mans next month.”