TINCKNELL GETS NISSAN NISMO RACE PROGRAMME UNDERWAY IN WORLD’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS SPORTSCAR RACE
British youngster lines-up for second career Le Mans 24 Hour race in radical Nissan
Britain’s Harry Tincknell gets his Nissan NISMO LM P1 race career underway in the world’s most prestigious sportscar event next weekend (13-14 June). The 23-year-old competes in the world famous Le Mans 24 Hours in France for only the second time in his career but this time in the top LM P1 sports-prototype category.
Tincknell races the radical Nissan GT-R LM NISMO sportscar which also makes its race debut in what is the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship – the toughest sportscar race in the world.
Harry switched from single-seater racing to the sportscar category in April 2014 but went on to enjoy a prolific season. A multiple Formula Renault 2.0 UK plus Euro and British Formula Three Championship race winner, Tincknell won the Le Mans 24 Hours LM P2 category 12 months ago – claiming an amazing fifth overall – and finished second in the European Le Mans Series for the Nissan-powered JOTA Sport team
He personally scored three pole-positions plus three ELMS “podiums”, including one win, in the five-race series and was named the 2014 ELMS “Rookie of the Year” which resulted in the fledgling “factory” Nissan NISMO LM P1 team snapping up the young Briton.
Tincknell has spent the last three months commuting from his Devon home to North America undertaking crucial testing of the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO which features a twin-turbo, three-litre V6 engine which, unusually in this category of racing, powers the front wheels.
A planned race debut for the GT-R LM NISMO in April was put back to focus on Le Mans and so Tincknell renewed his association with JOTA Sport again competing in the ELMS and at the Spa WEC race in the Nissan-powered Gibson. Harry missed out on victory in the season-opening Silverstone ELMS race by 0.370secs, won the LM P2 class in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and recorded third in the most recent ELMS race at Imola.
The No22 hybrid-petrol Nissan that Tincknell shares with Michael Krumm (D) and Alex Buncombe (GB), contested the official test day at Le Mans recently (31 May) – the first running in public for the Nissan GT-R LM. Today (7 June) it successfully passed the required technical checks staged in Le Mans town centre. First on-track action is Wednesday afternoon with qualifying for grid positions for the 56-cars contesting the 83rd running of the Le Mans 24 Hour on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The race is scheduled to start on Saturday at 2pm (UK time).
Harry’s Le Mans race week timetable:
Wednesday 10 June
1600-2000: Free Practice
Thursday 11 June
Friday 12 June
1730-1900: Driver’s Parade in Town Centre
Saturday 13 June
1500: Race Start
* Times listed above are CET and are +1hr BST
Harry’s Le Mans fact file:
2014: Harry Tincknell/Simon Dolan/Oliver Turvey (Zytek Z11SN-Nissan).
Qualified: 11th o/a / 2nd LM P2 (3m 37.674s); Race: 5th o/a / 1st LM P2.
Track comments: “Le Mans really has a bit of everything as a circuit. There are the super fast Porsche Curves, which have a ‘street circuit’ feel to them as the walls are so close. Then there are the really slow corners like Mulsanne and Arnage that you arrive at having been driving through wooded, shaded sections and these corners are out in the open. There are also five chicanes which makes the change of direction a big part of the car set-up. Of course the straights are very long but generally they lead into heavy braking areas so good top speed and braking efficiency are crucial. It's an easy track physically, because there’s a lot of time to rest on the straights but without stating the obvious, that’s a good thing as it’s the hardest race due to the fact it’s 24 hours!”
Harry Tincknell (GB). Age: 23. Born: Exeter, Devon, England. Lives: Sidmouth, Devon, England:
“I’ve only been competing in the sportscar category since April 2014 and this marks my first race contesting the highest level of Le Mans Prototype racing, the LM P1 class, and my maiden race representing a ‘factory’ team, all of which takes place at the Le Mans 24 Hours, the greatest race in the world so I'm very, very excited. The 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours will be Nissan’s first race with the GT-R LM NISMO so just to finish the season’s toughest race would be a fantastic and huge achievement. Collecting valuable data for the rest of the FIA World Endurance Championship season is our priority this year and then returning to the 24 Hour race 12 months down the line with this year’s experience under our belts. I will be trying to be as mechanically sympathetic as possible to make sure we get to the end of the race in the quickest time possible.
“Going back to Le Mans as the LM P2 class champion after last year’s victory in the Zytek-Nissan will be special. But I won’t dwell on it too much as I haven’t a huge amount of Le Mans experience having raced there for the first time last year even though I was lucky enough to stand on the top step of the podium. The test day was very difficult, due in the main, to the ever-changing weather conditions. But the varying intensity of rain enabled us to evaluate various tyre compounds while of course it was really good to be back at Le Mans. I gave the Nissan a shakedown on the Le Mans Bugatti last Tuesday and now I’m just looking forward to getting out in the car again in practice on Wednesday afternoon when hopefully the weather will be kinder to us.”