Harry Tincknell takes pole and fifth place finish at Snowy Spa
- Credit: Archant
Harry Tincknell finished fifth at the latest round of the FIA World Endurance Championships, braving extreme weather conditions at a weather-affected Spa Francorchamps, the final World Championship race before the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Despite some sunny periods, heavy snow, sleet and rain pounded the Belgian track, but the Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK came through unscathed to pick up 11 valuable points.
Qualifying took place on Friday with Tincknell and teammate Andy Priaulx putting on a master class to set the fastest time, securing their second pole position of the season and an extra World Championship point.
The session took place in dry conditions, suiting their Ford GT much better than the slippery surface it would be facing on race day.
Threatening skies greeted the competitors on Saturday morning and Tincknell led the pack away with a textbook start, opening up a gap from his pursuers during the first three laps before the heavens opened. Over the next six hours the #67 crew battled through the attrition, running as high as second before ultimately finishing fifth after a red flag brought proceedings to a halt 13 minutes early due to extreme snow and rain.
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Speaking after the race, Harry said: "What a crazy race that was! We had all four seasons today and while we had the car to win in the dry, the wet conditions went against us unfortunately.
"We showed what we could do when conditions suited us with that fantastic pole but we didn't have the pace in the wet so I am actually really happy with fifth.
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"Qualifying was a real buzz. I was really happy with my lap, the car had so much grip and I really felt like I extracted all the potential.
"The engineering team we have is second to none and the set up tweaks they made to the car were perfect."
Harry then looked to the next race as he said: "This time last year I had my massive accident and it was a race against team to repair the car in time for Le Mans.
"This year, we have the fastest car in dry conditions and we go into Le Mans with great momentum and confidence."
Harry's next race is the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic in Detroit, Michigan on June 1.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on June 15 and 16 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France.
It will be the 87th running of the 24 Hour race organised by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, and the final round of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship.