TINCKNELL RETURNS TO LE MANS WITH PRESTIGIOUS FORD GT PROGRAMME
Briton adds Silverstone, Spa & Le Mans WEC races in Ford GT to full Nissan-powered ELMS season
Britain’s Harry Tincknell will compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – 50 years on from Ford’s 1-2-3 overall finish in the 1966 twice-around-the-clock race. Additionally, the 24-year-old Briton will drive the new Ford GT in two more FIA World Endurance Championship events, the 6 Hours of Silverstone and 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Tincknell, who races the No67 Ford GT alongside Andy Priaulx and Marino Franchitti, adds this exciting three-race programme with the “factory” Ford team with his previously announced six-race European Le Mans Series campaign with JOTA Sport – the British outfit’s Gibson-Nissan now running under the entry and in the colours of Russian oil brand G-Drive Racing.
Harry will be particularly busy for the opening races in both series staged over the same April weekend in England. The Four Hours of Silverstone (ELMS) takes place on 16 April with the Six Hours of Silverstone (WEC) just 24 hours later. Tincknell will drive the Ford GT in the WEC Prologue at Paul Ricard, France, over 25-26 March having put the Gibson through its paces at the ELMS Prologue (22-23 Mar) along with G-Drive co-drivers Giedo van der Garde and Simon Dolan.
The Ford GT only made its competition debut in January while four Ford GTs, competing in the GTE Pro class, will race at Le Mans in June on the 50th anniversary of the manufacturer's first victory at the French event. The new Ford is powered by a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine, developing 5500ps, and features a six-speed sequential transmission.
Tincknell, who remains contracted to Nissan in 2016, has contested the Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans races for the past two years. In 2014, the Silverstone ELMS race marked Harry’s maiden sports car event but saw him claim pole-position by a staggering 1.152secs. At Spa, on his WEC debut, Tincknell placed second in LM P2 before winning the category on his Le Mans debut – his maiden 24 race – with a stunning fifth place overall. Last year, Harry set the fastest race lap in the Silverstone and Spa races, finishing second and first respectively with JOTA Sport, and made his LM P1 debut as a “factory” Nissan NISMO driver at Le Mans.
Harry says: “I’m thrilled and proud to be involved in Ford’s new GT racing programme and the manufacturer’s historic return to Le Mans. It’s an exciting project and to be involved in the new GT’s first three WEC races with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing will be a phenomenal experience. For me, Le Mans is the biggest race in the world. It’s one of the greatest tests of man and machine racing wheel-to-wheel for 24 hours in front of 250,000 fans which makes the atmosphere incredible. 2014 was my Le Mans debut and standing on the top step of the LM P2 podium was the best day of my career to date and I have the chance to experience that again with Ford in GTE Pro. At 24-years-old, to be driving a Ford GT at Le Mans exactly 50 years after the famous 1-2-3 finish for the team is incredibly special. Ford has such an incredible history at Le Mans and I believe that with this car and team, we can emulate some of that success.”