Tincknell all set for start of 2019 motorsport season this weekend

PUBLISHED: 13:26 24 January 2019

Harry Tincknell with his team mates ahead of the start of the 2019 season.

Harry Tincknell with his team mates ahead of the start of the 2019 season.

Ignite Media- Halston Pitman/Alex Wong

East Devon motor racing ace Harry Tincknell heads to Daytona International Speedway this weekend hoping for a strong start to his 2019 motorsport season.

Harry Tincknell, who launches his 2019 season on the final weekend of January. Picture HALSTON PITMANHarry Tincknell, who launches his 2019 season on the final weekend of January. Picture HALSTON PITMAN

The 27-year-old has signed with the Mazda Team Joest squad for a second year, competing in the IMSA Weathertech Championship’s 10 races across North America.

He will also complete the final three races of the 2018-19 World Endurance Championship with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team UK.

The Rolex 24 at Daytona is the series’ blue ribbon event and early signs were strong for the Mazda team. During the first weekend of January, the ‘Roar before the 24’ practice sessions gave all competitors three days of practice with Mazda setting the fastest lap of the weekend by nearly one second, a huge margin around the around the 3.56-mile circuit.

The race will not be short of star drivers, with Spanish F1 legend Fernando Alonso and three Indy 500 winners competing in the endurance classic.

Tincknell will once again team up with Californian Jonathan Bomarito for the full ten races in the #55 Mazda RT24-P, while 37-year-old Frenchman Olivier Pla will join the duo for the four long distance races.

Pla is well known to Tincknell, having been teammates at Ford for the past three seasons.

Speaking about the start of a new season, Harry says: “I’m delighted to be back with Mazda for the 2019 season in North America.

“Last year [2018], was very much a learning year for myself and Mazda Team Joest and while it was testing at times, we produced some superb performances and I can’t wait to build on that this year.

“Clearly, we want to win races and fight for the championship and that all begins this weekend with the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“The work that Mazda Team Joest, chassis designer Multimatic and engine builder Advance Engine Research have put in over the winter has been nothing short of incredible.

“We’ve made some excellent progress during testing in both Europe and America and that really showed with our lap times at the ROAR test a few weeks ago.

“Obviously, we expect it to be a very tough race this weekend, but we feel we have as good a chance as anyone in the field and we are certainly as prepared as we can possibly be.”

He continued: “It’s great to be back with Jonathan [Bomarito]. We created a strong relationship last year and in Olivier [Pla], we have someone I know very well.

“He’s quick, reliable and easy to get along with, which is exactly what you want from a third driver. We have all the ingredients for a strong season ahead, now it’s down to us to deliver.”

● You can watch the full 24-hour race via live stream at www.imsa.tv. The race starts at 8.25pm GMT on Saturday.

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