WEC - Tincknell Looking Forward to Silverstone Showdown | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

WEC - Tincknell Looking Forward to Silverstone Showdown

14.08.18.

This weekend British driver Harry Tincknell will be racing alongside three time FIA World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx in the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team UK Ford GT in the 6 Hours of Silverstone, Round 3 of the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship. 

The 26-year-old from Exeter in South West England is upbeat about their chances of repeating last year’s home victory from pole position after a dramatic start to 2018. 

At Spa-Francorchamps  the no67 Ford GT started from pole position but the challenge for top honours in Belgium ended with Tincknell walking away unscathed from a high speed crash at Eau Rouge / Raidillon after running near the front of the LMGTE Pro field. 

A podium challenge at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was blunted by a refuelling issue that forced the car to pit for an extra stop.  The no67 Ford GT finished fourth on the road but was given a post race penalty after Tony Kanaan failed to complete the mandatory minimum driving time during the race, dropping the car to twelfth in the final classification.

While the points haul may be thin on the ground, strong performances in the opening two races of the season means the team is upbeat ahead of the UK race.

We caught up with Harry Tincknell as he prepares for the 6 Hours of Silverstone.

Q: Silverstone is the home race for yourself and Andy, with the team based a few miles from the circuit.  As a British driver what do you like the most about racing at Silverstone?

HT: “I’m really looking forward to racing at Silverstone for my home race.  It is very special being a British driver, with all the British fans.  Le Mans is a huge pilgrimage for many British fans and they come to Silverstone to see us race at our home race.  You really feel the buzz around the place.  The Silverstone track is my favourite circuit in the world. I’ve had some great success there in the past, especially winning last year; which was a good moment.  The team is based just down the road at Greatworth so we are up at Silverstone pre season all the time.  The trucks pick the cars up and a few minutes later we’re at the circuit.”

Q: With just two points on the board from the first two races, it hasn’t been the best start for the no67 Ford GT.  However you did set pole at Spa in May and in 2017 you won at Silverstone, with Andy setting a new LMGTE Pro lap record. Do you think Silverstone will suit the Ford GT and get your season back on track?

HT: “We’ve not had a fantastic season so far in terms of points but in both races we have been very strong, it has just been a horrible set of circumstances. At Spa we had pole position, we had a dominant position in the race in terms of tyre strategy but had a huge accident at Eau Rouge after a problem at the front left.  I was just a passenger.  I hit the wall, the impact was 29g, but I was OK which really demonstrates the strength of the Ford GT.  Ford build very strong cars, which is a testament to the fact I walked away with no injuries at all. 

“At Le Mans we had a really strong race, we finished fourth.  We had one minor issue where only half the fuel went in so we had to do an extra pitstop at the end.  We were fighting for second at that point, so that issue took us out of the podium running but there were no other issues and the car ran faultlessly, which was great.  To have the penalty after the race for a technicality was a shame but from the driver’s side there is nothing we can do about that. 

“Looking at the points table, now we have to mount our fight back.  At this point of the championship last year we were leading, so, for sure, we need to start our fight back at Silverstone this weekend.  We were very strong there last year, taking a dominant win from pole position.  Andy (Priaulx) is strong there and it suits the Ford GT. You need very good aero efficiency with the long straights but you also have some high speed corners, so you want to have a good trade off between aerodynamic gripe and drag, which the car is built for. So I think we are in a good place going into the race.”

Q: What are your thoughts on the Silverstone circuit? What is your favourite corner and do you think the move back to a summer date is a good idea?

HT: “As I said earlier, Silverstone is my favourite circuit in the world, there is nothing like racing at home. Maggotts and Becketts is the most wonderful section of corners anywhere in the world, super high speed left-right-left-right on to the straight.  Stowe is fantastically fast corner; Abbey is very quick now.  Every since Silverstone changed the layout back in 2010 it has become much better for racing, we’re going to see a lot of overtaking and that’s going to be very exciting. 

“Moving to the summer is a great idea, we know what the British weather is like in April.  We’ve had a fantastic summer so far, so hopefully that can last for another week, so that was a good move by the WEC.  Hopefully come Sunday afternoon we can be spraying the champagne with the sun shining.”

 

The 6 Hours of Silverstone will take place on Sunday 18 August.  Track action begins on Friday 17th August with Free Practice sessions, with final practice and qualifying on Saturday 18th August.