Le Mans 24 Hours fourth place for East Devon race ace Harry Tincknell
- Credit: Archant
Harry Tincknell raced to a hard fought fourth position at the end of a gruelling 87th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours race in France.
The race marked the end of Ford's four-year commitment to the FIA World Endurance Championship, with Tincknell and team mate Andy Priaulx also finishing fourth in the 2018-19 Super Season standings.
The 27 year-old was in fine form throughout the race week. Qualifying took place over three, two-hour sessions on Wednesday and Thursday evening. Tincknell put the #67 car on provisional pole during Wednesday's first session with a stunning lap of 3.49.53.
He bettered this on Thursday night with a best time of 3.48.11 to qualify the car second on the grid, separated by only one tenth of a second to first place around the 13.6km track.
Tincknell started the race from the front row and immediately set about trying to pass the pole-sitting Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim during the opening laps. However, it was clear that while the Ford GT could set fast lap times due to it's superior cornering speeds, it was difficult to overtake rivals who had more power and therefore a straight line speed advantage.
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The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing crew were flawless throughout the twice-around-the-clock classic and executed 23 pit stops without issue while the GT ran ultra reliably throughout.
In fact, all five Ford GTs entered, finished the race. Despite multiple incidents and safety car periods, the #67 stayed out of trouble and on the lead lap during the race, ultimately coming home in fourth position, the highest placed Ford in the field. Tincknell also set Ford's fastest lap and did more laps (146) than any other driver in the GTE Pro class.
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Speaking after the race, Harry said: "I really drove my heart out for the whole race and I am super proud of Andy, Jonathan (Bomarito) and the whole of the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team for their hard work and dedication, not only during this Le Mans week but the whole four year programme. I wanted a victory but we did the maximum we possibly could.
"Le Mans is always a very special event and we had incredible support from the fans this week and the messages I've received have been amazing.
"I can't be more thankful to have been part of the Ford family for the past four years. I had virtually no GT experience when I first joined so have had this opportunity has massively helped with my career trajectory.
"The future looks bright and I cannot wait to see what comes next for me at Le Mans.
"Considering that we had a really tough start to the World Championship with two no scores in the first two races, to come back and finish fourth was a great result. Andy and I have been a really strong pairing and I've learnt so much racing with him."