Super overtaking technique sees Tincknell bag strong results at Austria’s Red Bull Ring.
- Credit: Archant
Some superb overtaking moves and great race pace allowed Harry Tincknell to fight back and claim some strong results in the latest round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Austria’s Red Bull Ring.
The 21-year-old Sidmouth-based racer took a best finish of fourth in the third and final race. Due to second-place finisher Daniil Kvyat being unregistered for the championship, it ensured that Tincknell took third-place points.
Together with seventh place in race two (claiming sixth-place points), that was a decent return for Harry and his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen. Certainly so after he finished wet qualifying in eighth place for all three races and found himself pointing the wrong way after getting spun around on the opening lap of race on.
“Our qualifying pace was good and we had spells at the top,” said Tincknell. “But I kept having to back off for traffic and didn’t get a good run. On the last lap in first qualifying I was up on my best time, but then came across a huge traffic jam at the final corner. It was a similar story in second qualifying.
“Then, going into Turn 2 on the first lap of race one, I got hit from behind by Josh Hill. I was pretty much last of a 28-car field, but my pace was really good.”
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Harry went on a charge, taking the second fastest race lap and narrowly missing out on scoring as he drew alongside final points finisher Roy Nissany on the run to the finish line. “We were a little surprised we weren’t faster last time out at Brands Hatch,” he said, “but our pace in Austria showed the efforts of the Carlin team have really paid off. I was on an overtaking mission and I only just missed out on a point!”
In the second race, Tincknell lost a couple of places on the opening lap to drop to 10th. On the eighth lap he overtook Eddie Cheever while two cars tangled in front, therefore leapfrogging three places to seventh. He then closed on team-mate Jordan King, and was right behind his fellow Briton when the race was red-flagged with four laps remaining.
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“I didn’t have the greatest first lap,” he said, “but I got good points. Still, I knew I needed to do better so I had a good chat with my mentor Allan McNish on the phone on Saturday evening about racecraft, and we came up with a plan for Sunday’s race.”
It paid off in spectacular fashion. Harry lost out a little at the start, but completed lap one in ninth place and then managed to move up to eighth just prior to a lengthy safety-car period. At the restart he dispatched three drivers in one lap, including championship-leading Ferrari protégé Raffaele Marciello, to move up to fifth.
Then he caught up King and, with three laps to go, he pulled off a sweet move into Turn three to claim fourth place.
“It wasn’t a great launch off the line,” he said, “but I did some really nice moves. I worked really hard trying to keep the tyres warm behind the safety car, and that helped me a lot on the first lap after the safety car.
“I was running a lower-downforce set-up to help with straight-line speed to overtake. That wasn’t so good for the high-speed bends, but I knew that if I could stay close through them I could get a run. I tried a move on Jordan into Turn 2 – I wasn’t really close enough there but got a really good exit. On the brakes I was a car length behind but as he moved to the middle to turn in I just shot it down the inside. It’s nice to end the weekend on a high!”
Tincknell, along with most of the other series regulars, will remain in Austria for two days of testing at the Red Bull Ring this week. There is then a long gap until the next race (on 7th July), the prestigious non-championship Masters of F3 at the Dutch circuit of Zandvoort – home ground for Harry’s Carlin engineer Stefan de Groot, who won countless races there as a driver in Formula Ford.
“It’s a big race for Stef!” said Tincknell, who has consolidated fifth place in the points table. “We have to be as prepared as we possibly can for this one. I really believe there’s good potential for the second half of the season. It won’t take much for us to have a really good run and be right there in the championship. We’ve certainly got the car for it.”