TINCKNELL ROARS TO DOMINANT VICTORY IN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RACE
Harry achieves first win of 2015 with JOTA Sport in Belgium
Britain’s Harry Tincknell scored a dominant class victory in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps before flying to America today (3 May) to continue testing the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO.
The 23-year-old Briton along with Simon Dolan (GB) and Mitch Evans (NZ) swept their JOTA Sport Gibson 015S-Nissan to a sensational one-lap victory in the 700-mile race staged in dry and mainly sunny weather conditions yesterday (2 May).
The second round of this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship marked only Tincknell’s third career WEC race. Having achieved second place in LM P2 in the corresponding Belgian race last year – Harry’s second ever sportscar race and his WEC debut – he went on to score a class win in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Harry competes for the “factory” Nissan NISMO team at Le Mans (13-14 June), making his race debut in the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO in the LM P1 category, after contesting the second round of the European Le Mans Series in Italy for JOTA. Tincknell flew to America today (3 May) and is scheduled to test the Nissan for two days at NCM Motorsports Park at Bowling Green in Kentucky.
Yesterday’s Spa race saw Tincknell start the Gibson from the third-row of the LM P2 grid, his efforts – Harry actually setting the fastest time in LM P2 – and Dolan clocking the combined fifth fastest time in the nine-car LM P2 field in qualifying around the majestic 4.352-mile Spa circuit the previous day.
Harry led the LM P2 field at the end of the opening lap but race officials deemed Tincknell had made a “jump” start necessitating a drive through penalty. He resumed 22secs down on the class leader in seventh place but had battled superbly back into second place by the time he pitted to Evans on 90mins. Tincknell was back in the leading JOTA Gibson with 90mins remaining for a single stint before Evans coasted home to the chequered flag.
Harry’s next race is for JOTA Sport at Imola on 17 May.
6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, WEC Rd 2
Qualifying: 5th, Combined time of Dolan/Tincknell)
Race: 1st + Fastest Lap (Tincknell, 2m 09.364)
“I am absolutely over the moon! I’m so, so happy. I set the fastest lap in qualifying, the fastest race lap and recorded what can only be described as a totally dominant LM P2 victory with Simon and Mitch. JOTA Sport did a fantastic job while the Gibson-Nissan was great. I was really happy with setting the outright fastest LM P2 lap in qualifying considering the caliber of driver and the experience I was up against in the WEC field. I knew I had a bit of work to do starting P5 and I thought that was all pretty much sorted on the start of lap 2. I did a nice move down the inside of Olly Webb, pulling away and then the call came through to me over the radio that I had apparently made a a jump start. I was really surprised and it must have been very close. I was devastated to be then back down in seventh so I knew I had to fight my way back up and ended the stint in second place. Mitch and Simon both did fantastic jobs. I was back in the car for a stint before Mitch took it to the flag. I wasn’t really pushing but still managed fastest lap of the race and pulled the gap out to 100 seconds so it was a really faultless weekend. I’m now off to America for more testing in the Nissan LM P1 getting it ready for Le Mans so it’s a very exciting time for me. I’m living on the crest of the wave at the moment and loving everything. It couldn’t get much better.”