Harry Tincknell is an increase of the light in the world of sports car racing. After winning the European Le Mans Series and the class LMP2 24 Hours of Le Mans on its first attempt in 2014, has gone on to become a key member of Ford’s assault on the GTE category of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
What was the first Ford that took you? Probably my friends Party, after I passed my driving test.
What is your favorite Ford car’s performance? The Ford Mustang GT. There’s not a better bang for the money on the market. Is now available with right hand drive in the uk, it is perfect.
What is your favorite on the appearance of the screen for a Ford? The 24 Hours of the War, about Ford’s assault on Le Mans in 1966. It was great to learn the history of the program, then make our own history with Ford for the winner of Le Mans 50 years later, in 2016.
It started in the car. What made you move in racing? I have been guided and administered by [three-time Le Mans winner] Allan McNish, since I was 16 years old, so I’ve always had race cars in mind. It seemed like a good move in terms of a professional career, and the opportunity to try to win races in Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring allows you to go to the history books. For 2014, I had the opportunity to join the Jota Sport LMP2 team, and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like the best option.
What was the biggest difference between single-seaters and sportcars? Jota’s LMP2 car was similar to the Formula 3 which had been driving in terms of power-to-weight, but I had to learn the bigger picture of multi-class endurance racing fuel economy, taking care of the tires, deal with the traffic, and sharing a car with another driver. In the car of his team-mate is your number one enemy. In racing, he is the number one ally. But I really bought into the idea of working together as a team.
In 2014, the first year of sports car racing that won the class LMP2 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. What was important was that for your career? It was the catalyst for everything since. My team mate, Simon Dolan, was one of the best silver-rated drivers, and Marc Gene – who I admired – joined us for Le Mans. Unfortunately, Marc had to go to Audi’s LMP1 team after regular driver Audi] Loic Duval had a big accident. As a result, the role of team leader passed to me, even though it was my first Le Mans. It was hard, but there was a confidence in the team, and the car was incredibly fast. We did not panic, continue the fight, and we went on to win.
For 2016, joined the Ford GT assault at Le Mans and in the FIA WEC. What was the biggest challenge in the transfer of the light-weight prototypes to the production-based GTE? GTE cars are heavier, less downforce, so they are more reliant on mechanical grip. The life of the tires is also important, as it is easy to flat spot the tires. With a lighter, more powerful prototype, it is easier to get away with a mistake, but it must be much more precise and consistent in a GTE. In addition, there is the traffic. Driving a prototype, you can decide whether to lunge past a GTE car, or wait for the next straight. When you’re in traffic, you have no choice about how it is approved. The management that without loss of time, is an art.
You missed it by a little bit in this year’s FIA WEC GT title, but getting the second place at Le Mans must have been a highlight… Our #67 car was fourth when I got to the end of the season, but I was determined to do the podium after all the hard work of the team. I’ve spent the Porsche for the third, then my race engineer gave me the maximum attack’ of the call on the last lap. The Corvette ahead had a flat tire, so I nailed every corner and managed to catch him outside of the Porsche Curves. As I passed, there was great joy on the radio – I had forgotten that we have a live camera in the car, and it felt like the computer was in the passenger seat, to celebrate with me.
How to make the road, Ford GT and his career improved Ford GT compare? I had the opportunity of driving on the road Ford GT at the Goodwood Festival, and at the Ford Fair at Silverstone in front of 20,000 Ford-crazy fans. The career of Ford GT and the road car were, obviously, developed side-by-side, but I was surprised how close to the road the car feels with the race car – is as close as you’ll get to driving our GTE car round Le Mans.
How does it feel to have the kind of loyal audience that receives from Ford fans? Ford fans are so loyal and passionate, and his knowledge of the sport is incredible. I’m so lucky for the career of Ford. There’s a real sense of pride in the fact that you are not only racing for the team, Ford employees, and a couple of racing fans – you’re competing for all Ford customers and fans.
Learn more about the Ford Performance the ford range.co.uk