DEVON DRIVER CONSOLIDATES SECOND PLACE IN EUROPEAN LE MANS SERIES
Harry Tincknell consolidated his second place in the European Le Mans Series standings when the Devon ace plus co-drivers Simon Dolan and Filipe Albuquerque claimed fourth place in the Four Hours of Paul Ricard in France today (14 Sep).
Tincknell's third top-four result from four races sees the Sidmouth-based driver now trailing the championship leaders by 10-points with just one race remaining next month.
The reigning Le Mans 24 Hour race LMP2 champions completed almost 450-miles at an average speed of 111.54mph finishing 80.558secs behind the winning car.
Exeter-born Tincknell had set the second fastest qualifying time earlier in the day on the 37-car grid the first time this season the Dunlop-shod JOTA Sport Zytek had not been in pole-position.
Harry took the start around the fast, sweeping 3.6-mile Paul Ricard track at Le Castellet near Marseille in Southern France and snatched the lead with 20mins gone, pitting after 45mins with a 5secs advantage.
Dolan lay second, 22secs behind the Morgan of Pierre Ragues who had remained behind the wheel and, despite setting consistently fast lap times, slipped to third behind their main championship rivals.
Simon made a scheduled pit-stop on 90mins and by dint of not taking on new tyres, briefly resumed in the lead the top four cars almost together. He was fifth just 26secs off the lead shortly after mid-distance while Albuquerque took over the Zytek with just over 90mins to run.
The Portuguese immediately set what would be the race's second fastest lap placed sixth, moving up a place with a little over one hour remaining while Dolan, who only took on two new tyres when he took over with 45mins to run, resumed fifth but moved into fourth in the closing stages.
But before the fifth and final round of this year's ELMS is staged at Estoril in Portugal on 19 October, Tincknell visits Austin as guest of reigning world sportscar champion Allan McNish who was at Paul Ricard today. Harry and Allan fly out to Texas on Wednesday to spectate at the next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship which is staged at the Circuit of the Americas on Saturday (20 Sep).
Harry Tincknell (GB). Age: 22. Born: Exeter, Devon. Lives: Sidmouth, Devon (GB):
"It was a difficult weekend for us but I'm happy to come away with a fourth place and heading into Estoril with a legitimate shot of winning the title. I couldn't quite get 'pole' which meant I had to battle hard to take the lead in the opening few laps. From there I pushed as hard as I possibly could to open a gap but realistically fourth place was the best we could have hoped for today.
"Allan is my mentor and we believe it would be a good idea to go to Austin to take a look at the North American sportscar scene. In addition to the WEC race on Saturday evening, there is an American-based sportscar championship race so it'll be interesting to look around the paddock and take in the atmosphere."
Paul Ricard 4 Hours, ELMS Rd 4
Free Practice 1: 1m 51.621s (P7, Albuquerque), +1.504s (lap 11 of 38)
Free Practice 2: 1m 49.477s (P2, Tincknell), +0.004s (lap 33 of 38)
Qualifying: 1m 48.126s, + +0.289s (P2, Tincknell) on lap 4 of 6
Race: 4th, +80.558s
Championship: Driver's 2nd, 58pts (Dolan/Tincknell/Albuquerque). Teams' 2nd, 58pts.