Harry Tincknell races to seventh spot in USA
- Credit: Archant
East Devon motor racing ace Harry Tincknell finished seventh at the Six Hours of the Circuit of the Americas, cutting down the #67 car’s lead in the FIA World Endurance Championship that he shares with teammate Andy Priaulx.
Tincknell and his Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team endured their toughest race of the season to date at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
They made a promising start to the weekend thanks to an excellent display by Tincknell and Priaulx to qualify the car on the front row of the grid in second place. Priaulx took the start in searing conditions as track temperatures exceeded 40 degrees as the Texan sun bore down on the circuit.
However, the promising grid position started to unravel from the very first corner as a hit from behind delayed the Guernseyman and the Ford GT fell down to eighth place by the end of lap one.
As the race settled down, Priaulx moved up to seventh after switching positions with teammate Olivier Pla in the sister car, but it was clear that the Fords didn’t have the race pace required to stay with the lead pack.
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Tincknell was handed the car at the one hour mark and attempted to double stint on the hard compound Michelin tyre.
While the harder compound offered more durability, a lack of overall grip hindered Tincknell’s progress and as he maintained the seventh place over nearly two hours of driving before handing back to Priaulx.
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A sticking wheel nut during the pit stop further delayed the car, but some of the loss was negated due to a safety car period for a barrier repair after a crash from a Porsche 911.
Changes of strategy from the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing engineers produced a more positive performance during the second half of the race as Priaulx and Tincknell traded one hour stints behind the wheel until the checkered flag fell at 6pm local time. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to move further up the field as the #67 car crossed the finish line in seventh place with the sister #66 car behind in 8th.
Tincknell said: “It was a really tough day at the office for everyone at Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and obviously we are disappointed to only come away with seventh and eighth places at Ford’s home race here in America.
“It certainly wasn’t through lack of trying and I am proud of everyone in the team for fighting on to maintain our championship lead in the hardest of conditions.
“With ambient temperatures above 35 degrees, I need to say a massive thank you to the Ford human performance team for preparing and looking after the whole crew during a weekend of high heat and humidity.”
He continued: “We need to go back to the drawing board and analyse exactly what went wrong and what we can improve before the Asian leg of the championship.
“We had a great car for qualifying, coming very close to pole position and we know from last year that the car is strong at the upcoming tracks.
“It’s been a fantastic year so far; hopefully, we’ve got all our bad luck out of the way and can go and attack the last three races and bring home the World title.”
Harry Tincknell leads the FIA World Endurance Championship by six points. The next race is the Six Hours of Fuji, Japan on October 15.