Harry moves back up to 3rd in the FIA World Endurance Championship, just 7.5 points from the lead after his second consecutive win at the Chinese venue.
Harry Tincknell and his Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team scored a brilliant victory at the latest round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Shanghai, China. The 26 year old combined with team mate Andy Priaulx to score the maximum 25 points available to throw the title race wide open going into the final round in Bahrain.
Priaulx started the 6 hour race from 4th place but exited the first corner in 6thafter a slow start from his side of the gird. In a race where tyre conservation was key, he made gradual progress to move back to 5th before handing over to Tincknell at the start of the second hour. Swift work from the Ford pit stop crew allowed Harry to exit the pits alongside Aston Martin’s Nicki Thiim and the Devonian wrestled the position away from the Dane into turn one.
Tincknell closed up to the #91 Porsche 911 but couldn’t find a way past before handing back to Priaulx. Engine issues for the #92 Porsche moved the Ford GT up to 3rd and another slick pit stop, where Ford elected to use their final set of new tyres, jumped Priaulx ahead of the sister #66 Ford of Olivia Pla. It was important to make this stint count and a fantastic overtake on the #91 car vaulted the Guernseyman into the lead which he built up to 20 seconds before handing back over to Tincknell to complete the race.
With only tyres used in qualifying available to Tincknell for the final 90 minutes, the race was far from over as Porsche used the extra grip advantage of their final set of brand new tyres to overtake Pla and catch up to the back of Tincknell. But a superb defensive drive kept the German marque at bay until the final round of pit stops. Another faultless service from the Ford pit crew, which included a fresher set of tyres, saw Tincknell exit the pits 5 seconds ahead of his nearest rival and he extended that lead to 11 seconds over the final laps to record a vital victory. 7.5 points behind going to the final round, pole position and race victory would be enough to crown Tincknell and Priaulx champions.
Harry Tincknell (GB):
“I’m absolutely over the moon with the win in Shanghai. It was a huge team effort and everybody did their job perfectly. The strategy was spot on, the pit stop crew were stunningly fast and Andy drove exceptionally well to put me in a position to fight for the top step of the podium. I knew we were going to be aggressive with the strategy and I would be vulnerable near the end of the race but I stayed calm and drove as fast as I could while fending off all attacks! We had to win to keep our championship hopes alive and we’ve done that. We need a similarly flawless run in Bahrain if we’re going to snatch the title back but we will do everything possible to make it happen”.
Harry is 3rd in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The FIA World Endurance Championship finale is the 6 Hours of Bahrain on the 18thNovember 2017.