Harry Tincknell interview: Harry’s home for the festive break

PUBLISHED: 13:16 26 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:16 26 December 2017

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship; The Roar before the Rolex 24; Daytona International Speedway; Ford Performance; 5-8 January, Daytona Beach, Florida, United States; 69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT; Harry Tincknell; © 2017 Wes Duenkel

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship; The Roar before the Rolex 24; Daytona International Speedway; Ford Performance; 5-8 January, Daytona Beach, Florida, United States; 69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT; Harry Tincknell; © 2017 Wes Duenkel

© 2017 Wes Duenkel

During the festive period lots of folk head for home and, particularly for sporting folk who might be ‘out of season’, such trips home are extra special - and East Devon racing ace Harry Tinckenll is one such sportsman.

Harry Tincknell and team mates after the success in China. Harry Tincknell and team mates after the success in China.

We caught up with Harry, enjoying Christmas with his family at their Tipton home and asked him what he enjoyed most about such visits home.

Harry said: “I try to spend every Christmas back in Tipton with the family. Mum used to run Patisserie Express in Sidmouth so Christmas lunch is always amazing.

“It’s the one time of year now when all my old school friends are around so I make an effort to catch up with as many people of them as possible.”

Next, we asked what, if any, restrictions there are placed on him during a festive break given his professional sportsman status.

He replied saying: “Usually I wouldn’t have to worry over the Christmas period, but now I have signed to also race with Mazda in the American Endurance Championship in 2018 the Daytona 24 Hours is at the end of January!

“It just so happens that’s the biggest race of the season too, so this year I’m training hard, but not worrying about my diet in terms of a Christmas feast, but it will be straight back into a fitness regime the following day!”

With all the globetrotting that Harry does, we next asked him how good it must be to spend a few days totally unwinding.

He replied: “Absolutely, it’s amazing to have two weeks in the same place and not see an airport or plane! I have my dream job and love travelling around the world, I wouldn’t swap it for anything, but it’s been a long season of racing, testing and PR duties and I’m ready to relax and playing some golf up at the club!

“Even being away so much at this stage in my life Sidmouth will always be home to me.”

So, now to his action in 2017 and what was the highlight? Harry responded saying: “The highlight was probably finishing second at the Le Mans 24 Hours and standing on the podium in front of 250,000 people.

“We were the first Ford home and I passed a Corvette with two corners to go on the final lap to move us up to second; it’s never over till it’s over even in a 24 hour race!

“The best place I visited was probably Japan. I love the culture and food over there and the Japanese are friendly.

“We had a day to explore Tokyo, which is an amazing city before we flew home too.”

We then asked for the ‘other side of the coin’ and what, if any point, was the lowest he reached in the year.

Harry said: “Fuji, the Japanese round. I was second for the first two hours before handing over to Andy, who unfortunately crashed in terribly wet conditions.

“He was unharmed, but we lost 18 World Championship points. We finished the season third, 10.5 points behind the winners so that’s where the season unravelled.

“Conditions were awful and I very nearly went off a couple of times; it was just bad luck.”

We then asked about the year ahead and just what he hoped to be able to say this time next year looking back on 2018. Harry replied saying: “Next year is going to be a super busy racing for Ford in the World Championships as well as Mazda in America.

“Winning Le Mans will be the main target and if I could sit here in 12 months’ time having gone one better than we did this year that would be perfect.

“The opportunity with Mazda is a great chance for me to break into America, so I also want to replicate some of my European form over there and build a good reputation for the future. A few wins Stateside would certainly help that!”

So, after the current break, where does it all begin again in 2018, Harry? He replied: “The Daytona 24 Hours in Florida is the first race of the season on the last weekend in January. I head there on January 3, for five days of pre-season testing, so it kicks off as soon as the New Year hangover has subsided!”

We wish Harry every success over the coming 12 months and look forward to reporting on more victories for the Tipton speedster.

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