Devon Race Ace is Runner-Up in European Le Mans Series Debut Season
Tincknell is stand-out “rookie” in 2014 sportscar season after another “rostrum” finish
Harry Tincknell brought the curtain down on a stellar maiden sportscar motor racing season when the Devon ace finished third in the fifth and final round of the European Le Mans Series in Portugal today (19 Oct).
The Sidmouth driver plus co-drivers Simon Dolan and Filipe Albuquerque combined to record the British team’s fourth top-four result of the season – their Dunlop-shod JOTA Sport Zytek finishing 43.713-seconds behind the winning car in the Four Hours of Estoril.
Their third place today together with first, second and fourth place finishes plus four “pole” positions in ELMS races earlier this season, earns the trio second in the final standings – agonisingly missing out on the Series “crown” by just four-points. Tincknell had lay second in the title race since the second race in May.
Exeter-born Tincknell won the LMP2 category in the Le Mans 24 Hours four months ago while Harry has now helped JOTA Sport to its best-ever ELMS championship position since its formation 14 years ago.
Tincknell claimed his third and the team’s fourth ELMS pole-position of the season in qualifying around the 13-corner, 2.6-mile Estoril circuit near Lisbon earlier on race day. Harry, in scintillating form, stopped the clock 0.713s ahead of the second fastest car – four of his seven laps being sub 1m 30s.
Albuquerque began the race staged in front of an enthusiastic “home” crowd under warm sunshine. The Portuguese handed the Dunlop-shod JOTA Sport Zytek over to Dolan with a 22secs lead on 50mins but Simon spun as a brake gremlin set in.
Following the second scheduled pit-stops for the 35-car field in which the JOTA Zytek took on new tyres and re-fuelled, Dolan lay third at mid-distance – 20secs off the lead.
Tincknell took over with 46mins remaining placed fourth – Simon having lost time due to a worsening brake issue which, at one point, caused him to go straight on at Turn 7.
Harry, who celebrates his 23rd birthday later this month (29 Oct), moved into third place with 20mins remaining and finished just 8.314s behind the second-placed car.
Rd5 18-19 October Estoril, POR
Free Practice 1: 1m 33.434s (P2, Albuquerque), +0.053s (lap 22 of 37)
Free Practice 2: 1m 31.455s (P2, Tincknell), +0.033s (lap 36 of 39)
Qualifying: 1m 29.497s (P1, Tincknell) on lap 4 of 7
Race: 3rd, +43.713s
Final Championship standings: Driver’s 2nd, 74pts (Dolan/Tincknell/Albuquerque). Teams’ 2nd, 74pts.
Harry Tincknell (GB). Age: 22. Born: Exeter, Devon. Lives: Sidmouth, Devon (GB):
“Overall we had a solid if difficult race with our brake problems and although third place wasn’t good enough for us to win the championship, to record another podium after I’d claimed pole, is a fantastic achievement in my first season of sportscar racing.
“My intention this year was to make a name for myself in sportscars and I got that off to a great start by recording pole-position by over one second in the opening race at Silverstone. Second place on my World Sportscar Championship race debut [Spa], winning the LMP2 category in my maiden Le Mans 24 Hours and now finishing second in the ultra-competitive ELMS championship in my ‘rookie’ season is incredible and I believe a job well done.
“I’ve adapted quickly to the different elements that are required compared to single-seater racing. I’ve become a team player and thoroughly enjoy this aspect of the sport.”