TINCKNELL VICTORIOUS AT ONE OF THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST ENDURANCE RACES
Harry takes outright win at 12 Hours of Sebring with Mazda. This is Tincknell’s second major endurance win of 2020 after taking a class win at Le Mans with Aston Martin.
Harry Tincknell has taken the Multimatic-run #55 Mazda RT24-P to outright victory at the 2020 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, joining a winners list that includes British motor racing icons Sir Stirling Moss and John Surtees. In a race filled with drama and chaos, the Mazdas ran a calm and considered strategy, supported by outstanding driving from Tincknell’s American team mates Jonathan Bomarito and Ryan Hunter-Reay to enter the final 40 minute stint running 1-2, comfortably clear of the competition. Tincknell qualified the #55 car in 5th position on the grid but the typically fast-starting 29 year old passed former F1 driver Sebastian Bourdais at the first corner and was soon up to third place a few laps later. Multimatic’s strategy for the Sebring 12 Hours has always been to avoid early race dramas, stay on the lead lap and be ready for the real racing in the last two hours. With the exception of the #55 being delayed by a recalcitrant wheel nut retainer in the fifth hour the team executed with perfection while the competition succumbed to overzealous driving, mechanical failures and various other missteps. The Mazdas really came into their own as the night fell in central Florida; the drivers keeping with the plan and quietly climbing up the order while still running the team’s controlled pace. With 2.5 hours to go Olivier Pla had taken the lead in the sister #77 Mazda and Hunter-Reay was running strongly in second place in the #55 with no real threat from behind. Olivier Jarvis and Tincknell took over for the run to the flag. Goodridge-sponsored Tincknell made small inroads on Jarvis’ lead but the race defining moment came with a little under 30 minutes to go when the #77 picked up a debris-induced puncture and was forced to pit. The resulting tyre carcass on the racing line brought out the final caution of the race, packing the field up for a frantic 20-minute dash for victory with Tincknell heading the field ahead of Dane Cameron’s Acura and Jarvis, who had rejoined back in third place. As the race went back to green, Tincknell set a blistering pace and was not for catching, taking victory by a comfortable 10 seconds at the chequered flag. The win in Sebring was enough to leapfrog Tincknell and Bomarito up to third place in the overall standings having opened the re-started 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with victory at Daytona over the fourth of July weekend. A strong second place in the six hour Atlanta race was complimented with consistency of never finishing outside the top five once the season resumed. It also took Tincknell’s personal win tally to a career high five for the season, as he opened the year with two wins in the Asian Le Mans Series before taking a famous win at the 24 hours of Le Mans with Aston Martin Racing.
Harry Tincknell (GB):
"Our strategy was to just get to the 10th hour. Stay away from trouble and be in the fight at the end. I was pushing like crazy in those last two stints to catch the #77. I got in the car in second place, 25 seconds down. I was starting to think a 1-2 would be great and then I heard the news that the #77 had a puncture. I feel for those guys; it’s tough and JB and I have been on the other side of that equation before. For a brief second I thought I was going to have a Saturday evening cruise to the win as we were 28 seconds ahead but then the yellows came out and bunched everyone back together. I sat behind the safety car thinking ‘this is what you dream of’, 20 minutes to go, leading one of the biggest races in the world so I told myself to just give it everything, no regrets! At the end, when we really needed it, we had great pace. The is a huge result for Multimatic and Mazda".