RISING SPORTSCAR STAR TINCKNELL CLAIMS PRAISEWORTHY RUNNERS-UP PLACING ON “HOME” SOIL
Harry Tincknell has made a storming start in his quest of winning this year’s European Le Mans Series title. The 23-year-old Briton plus JOTA Sport co-drivers Simon Dolan and Filipe Albuquerque finished a close second in the 4 Hours of Silverstone last weekend (11 Apr). The trio’s Gibson 015S Nissan finished less than a second behind the winning car in the ELMS “opener” – Harry’s only scheduled race on “home” soil in 2015.
The race marked Harry’s eighth career sportscar race, his fourth ELMS podium, sixth LM P2 top-three including his amazing debut Le Mans 24 Hours class triumph and actually his maiden sportscar “race” around the 3.667-mile Silverstone “Grand Prix” circuit in Northamptonshire.
Last year’s corresponding ELMS event at Silverstone saw Tincknell claim pole-position for JOTA by an incredible 1.2secs. But Dolan crashed having been forced off the track by a back marker with just 48mins remaining. Harry was waiting in the pits to take over their leading car and so never got the opportunity to take part in the actual “race” unlike practice and qualifying.
In this year’s Silverstone race, Albuquerque started from the front row on the 31-car grid after Tincknell had set the second fastest time in qualifying earlier in the day around the 3.667-mile Silverstone “Grand Prix” circuit in Northamptonshire.
Albuquerque moved into the lead with less than 30mins gone while Dolan consolidated a top-three position before Harry got into the car with 44mins remaining. The young Briton resumed third – less than 20secs behind the leader – with Harry immediately setting the race’s fastest lap.
Tincknell lost no time in challenging the second-placed Gibson, Harry doing well to stay on the track when his rival made contact with the JOTA sportscar pushing Tincknell wide. With 20mins remaining, just seven seconds covered the top-three.
Harry snatched second-place with less than 15mins and closed in to within 3secs of the leader but moments later Tincknell, lost momentum when slowed by a GT class car, was squeezed tight over the kerbs after further contact with the rival Gibson car at Becketts Corner, spun and continued in third place.
The drama intensified when the lead two cars touched promoting Tincknell to second place – Harry taking the chequered flag just 0.370secs behind the similar Gibson for a hard earned second place.
Tincknell combines an ELMS programme with JOTA Sport alongside test and race duties as a “factory” Nissan NISMO LM P1 driver in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Harry debuts the GT-R LM NISMO at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
In addition to his on-track ELMS activities at Silverstone, Harry was involved in various media and marketing activities for Nissan NISMO including a fan forum before flying out to America today (12 Apr) to resume testing of the GT-R LM NISMO this week.
“I was really happy to achieve a top finish and score ‘big’ points at Silverstone this year. I set the fastest race lap which shows the JOTA Sport Gibson has the pace. We could have, and should have, won the race. I was surprised with some of the desperate driving out on track and it was not nice to hear boos when everyone stood on the podium although I can't help feeling the reaction was justified.
“Filipe was awesome at the start and his overtakes were fantastic. Simon did a great middle stint, his times were good plus his race craft and defending, up against far more experienced drivers, was exceptional and meant that he gave me the car with a realistic chance of winning.
“Last season’s corresponding race at Silverstone was not only a massive disappointment after all but dominating the event but ultimately cost us the championship title. Essentially we need to achieve podium placings in every round to be in title contention.
“I’m heading back out to America today to conduct further testing of the Nissan NISMO LM P1. We’re making good progress and it’s really exciting to be involved in the programme from the start.”