Harry Tinknell wins at Daytona as racing makes a comeback after Covid-19 enforced lay-off
- Credit: Archant
East Devon’s driving ace Harry Tincknell is celebrating an emphatic victory at the WeatherTech 240 at Daytona, the first IMSA race to be held since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the first race since Multimatic took the operational helm of the Mazda Motorsports DPi race programme.
The sister #77 Mazda finished second to ensure a 1-2 sweep of the podium positions.
Goodridge sponsored driver Tincknell crossed the line as the winner in the #55 Mazda, after two hours and 40 minutes of thrilling racing on July 4.
Along with team mate, American Jonathan Bomarito, the Mazda pairing put on an outstanding driving display to entertain a global audience following the action on television and online.
The one-two sweep occurred almost to the day since Tincknell and Bomarito took the first win for the Mazda RT24-P, at Watkins Glen in 2019.
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It was a dream restart to the season for the pairing who have now won three races since their initial breakthrough success.
Last week it was announced that Tincknell had signed a multi-year contract extension with Multimatic.
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Bomarito took the start, which was delayed due to thunderstorms, on wet tyres having qualified in third position, but after 15 minutes of racing both Mazda’s were ready to switch to slicks. From there, they didn’t look back, enjoying close battles with the Acura and Cadillac teams but always keeping the upper hand.
After relentlessly working on pitstop drills over recent weeks, the team was faultless in the pits and the driver change to Tincknell went without a hitch.
Resuming in the lead with an hour and 12 minutes remaining, the 28-year-old set a searing pace from the outset and was never headed, growing the winning margin to 10 seconds at the checkered flag as darkness fell on the Floridian circuit.
This win, combined with January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona result, means that the #55 Mazda is tied for second place in the championship standings.
Speaking after the race, Harry said: “We knew from the first practice session that the car was fast. JB (Bomarito) had a great run in very difficult conditions at the start and kept his head really well.
“A few teams went off strategy by starting on slicks so it jumbled the race up a bit but once the track went fully dry the Mazda was the car to have and JB put me in a brilliant position to go and win the race.
“From my side it was fairly relaxed; if you could ever call an IMSA race ‘relaxed’.
“The car was fantastic and the pits stops were great so I was the lucky one who had the pleasure of driving a fast car all the way to the flag.”
He continued: “What a great day for Multimatic and Mazda.
“All credit goes to the team who have been so busy dealing with the challenges of a global pandemic.
“They have all made sacrifices to get us to this point, with many working far away from their families, and their efforts shouldn’t be underestimated.
“To take on a race programme like this, with all the current restrictions, then come here and get a one-two result is outstanding and makes it all worthwhile.
“On a personal level I am delighted to take this win so soon after Multimatic announced I am here for the long haul. Onwards to Sebring!”
Harry’s next race is the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring on Saturday week (July 18) at Sebring International Raceway.