TINCKNELL RETAINS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD WITH 5th IN GERMANY
Harry finishes in 5th place at the 6 Hours of Nurburgring despite contact with an LMP1 car which sent the Devon driver spinning into the gravel during the 4th hour.
Harry Tincknell and his Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team finished 5th in the latest round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at the Nurburgring, Germany. The tight and twisty German venue was expected to be one of the tougher circuits on the calendar for the Ford GT and the addition of success ballast following strong results in the UK and Belgium would further add to the challenge.
Tincknell and season long team mate Andy Priaulx qualified the #67 car in 6thposition on the GT grid. The Guernseyman started the race and was immediately involved in battle with the two Ferraris of James Calado and Davide Rigon. A technical issue for Rigon soon sent his car to the garage for repairs and Priaulx was able to close up to the lead pack with the top six GT cars running line astern. After jumping the sister Ford GT of Olivier Pla and the Aston Martin Vantage of Marco Sorenson in the first round of pit stops, Priaulx handed over to Devon driver Tincknell at the two hour mark in 4th position. The 25 year old settled into a strong rhythm, reeling off a string of fast and consistent laps as he started to pull away. Tincknell stayed in the car during the next round of pit stops but disaster would strike with a little over two hours remaining when a sideways hit from a Porsche LMP1 car sent him spinning into the gravel at one of the fastest corners on circuit. Despite facing backwards and beached in the gravel trap, Tincknell managed to rallycross his way out of the gravel and return to the track under his own power without any noticeable damage but the incident lost the team 50 seconds and dropped the #67 down to 7th place. Priaulx returned to the car for the 5th hour and immediately led the fight back. He caught and passed teammate Pla before handing the car back to Tincknell for the run to the chequered flag. Exiting the pits 10 seconds behind the 5thplaced Aston Martin of Jonny Adam, Harry quickly closed on his fellow Briton following a series of searing lap times and after a prolonged defence, produced a stunning overtake with just 20 minutes remaining to secure another 10 valuable World Championship points.
Harry Tincknell (GB): “We knew coming into this weekend that it would probably be a case of damage limitation for us in the championship and that’s what it proved to be. I’m still really happy with our overall performance. It was obviously disappointing to be involved in the incident with the Porsche LMP1 car. It was a high risk move from him and I couldn’t have done more to try and avoid contact and unfortunately for us we came off worse. The strategy and pit stops were fantastic and Andy drove really well. The maximum we could have achieved in the race was 4th and we finished 5th as well as being the first Ford home so it was still a good weekend for us."
Tincknell leads the FIA World Endurance GT Driver’s Championship by 11 points. The next race is the 6 Hours of Mexico City on the 3rd September.