TINCKNELL RECORDS HIS THIRD TOP-SIX FINISH FOR FORD IN NORTH AMERICAN RACE AFTER BRILLIANT OPENING STINTS
Harry unluckily misses out on silverware for second consecutive race weekend after again slicing through field
Britain’s Harry Tincknell recorded his third top-six finish in his fifth race for the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team in the 6 Hours of Mexico today (3 Sep) – but for the second consecutive weekend his stunning drive went unrewarded. Tincknell, sharing the “factory” Ford GT with co-drivers Andy Priaulx and Marino Franchitti finished an unrepresentative fifth in the GTE Pro class in the North American race.
Tincknell, who was racing in Mexico for the first time in his career, started the Ford GT from seventh position on the GTE Pro grid on Saturday afternoon after a problematic qualifying session the previous day. But Harry, despite feeling unwell, completed lap one in fourth place and handed over the third-placed Ford to Priaulx after a tremendous double stint lasting two hours 15minutes in which he had sliced past the world’s best GT drivers.
Priaulx, also feeling under the weather, lay fourth at mid-distance but with two hours remaining, as it began to rain, was a superb second. Varying degrees of precipitation effected the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez track and Priaulx, having to switch between dry and wet tyres, slipped back to fifth, Franchitti taking over for the final hour and consolidating this position to the chequered flag. It marked Harry’s sixth FIA World Endurance Championship career top-six finish in only his ninth WEC race. Round six of the WEC is staged at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on 17 September.
Harry says: “For the second consecutive weekend I’m leaving a track frustrated and reflecting on ‘what might have been’ in a race. We started seventh after a tough qualifying session. Andy had the driver’s door open on his out lap so had to pit and then he lost the rear and contacted the barriers causing front and rear damage before I took over. I drove for almost two and a half hours in the race and brought the Ford up to third place. It was arguably my best ever stints in the GT. Unfortunately Andy found himself out on the wrong tyres in the varying conditions and lost time. A podium was definitely achievable today which would have been a great bonus for the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team as we always knew that this track wouldn’t be ideal for the Ford. But I won’t have that long to wait until the next WEC race. I’ve never raced at COTA but tested the Nissan LMP1 sports-prototype there twice. I actually attended the corresponding race in Texas last year and am really looking forward to racing on Ford’s ‘home’ soil. The Ford GT should be well-suited to the fast, sweeping turns of COTA.”