TINCKNELL AIMING FOR FIRST CAREER PAUL RICARD PODIUM
ELMS standings leader determined for good points haul in France
Harry Tincknell will start the penultimate round of the European Le Mans Series on Sunday (6 Sep) with the Briton gunning for his first career podium at the Paul Ricard track in France. The 23-year-old Briton along with JOTA Sport co-drivers Simon Dolan and Filipe Albuquerque lead the five-race series by two-points and are determined to extend their advantage in the four-hour race.
Harry, along with Dolan and Albuquerque, has posted a win (Red Bull Ring) plus second (Silverstone) and third (Imola) placings in the opening three races while Tincknell assisted in the British team achieving a stunning LM P2 class victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship encounter at Spa-Francorchamps in May. Since the Red Bull Ring race in mid-July, Tincknell has tested the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO LM P1 car and has been at Silverstone with Nissan GT Academy “gamers” assisting with coaching, mentoring and judging.
Tincknell had been due to race the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO in the remaining five rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship but the Japanese manufacturer will delay its return to the series and instead focus on technical issues that challenged its race team during the Le Mans 24 Hours two months ago. Issues with the energy recovery system (ERS) meant that Nissan had to run at Le Mans on engine power alone. The bespoke Nissan V6 3-litre twin turbo petrol engine and the unique aerodynamics of the GT-R LM NISMO proved to be the main strengths of the car in the French race but without a fully working ERS, many of the car’s other systems were compromised.
Harry and Nissan will continue the test programme for the GT-R LM NISMO, predominantly but not exclusively in the United States. A decision on the date for Nissan’s return to the World Endurance Championship will be made in due course, depending on the progress of the test programme.
Harry Tincknell (GB). Age: 23. Born: Exeter, Devon, England. Lives: Sidmouth, Devon, England:
“Victory in the most recent race at the Red Bull Ring enabled us to take the lead in the ELMS points standings and that’s where we want to be after the Ricard race with only Estoril remaining. The Red Bull Ring race was a
massive team effort and every single team member produced the goods to enable us to win. On paper we dominated with pole, a race win and fastest lap but actually it was very tough with numerous Safety Cars periods negating our advantage each time but we got there in the end. Having finished second and third in this season’s opening two ELMS races, it was great to be back on the very top step of the ELMS podium for the first time since last year’s Imola victory. We’ll need to work really hard to stay in front in the title race and maintain JOTA’s 100% podium record in 2015 – which also includes finishing first [Spa] and second [Le Mans] in its two FIA World Endurance Championship races. I don’t think we’ll be the quickest car on the straights at Ricard but we’ll be pretty strong around the corners. I qualified on the front row for last year’s corresponding race and ultimately finished fourth. I’ve never been on the podium at Ricard so I’m intent on changing that. If all three of us drive as well as we did at Red Bull Ring and the team does its usual good job, I don’t see any reason why we can’t be fighting for the win again. With regards the GT-R LM NISMO, I'm looking forward to the continuing test programme. With every lap we complete we are learning more about the innovative LM P1 car. Everyone associated with the project is disappointed we're not racing but this way we'll come back bigger and stronger to face the incredibly tough competition in the WEC.”
Harry’s Paul Ricard fact file:
Debut: 2011 European Speed EuroSeries (If Motorsport Ligier JS49).
Others: 2011 British Formula 3 Series (Three races, 10th/17th/Ret, Fortec Dallara F311 Mercedes). 2014 European Le Mans Series (set 2nd fastest time in qualifying, finished 4th in race, JOTA Sport Zytek-Nissan).
Most recent: 2014 ELMS.
Comments: “I try not to have best and worst tracks, I’d rather treat each circuit as a challenge and see how good I can do, but that said Paul Ricard isn’t one of my all time great tracks. You have to be smooth at Ricard, so it suits the way I drive, and I’ve now been there a number of times in recent years which is good because it is a tricky track to master in my opinion.”