Sunday, June 15, 2014
Sidmouth speed ace Harry Tincknell claimed a stunning class victory – an incredible fifth overall – in arguably the most famous motor race in the world, the Le Mans 24 Hours, over the past weekend (June 14 and 15) – on the driver’s debut!
Tincknell and co-drivers Simon Dolan and Oliver Turvey steered their JOTA Sport Zytek Z11SN to LM P2 category honours in the 82nd running of the gruelling twice-around-the-clock sportscar endurance race in France.
The Tincknell/Dolan/ Turvey Zytek clocked up 356-laps equating to 3,016-miles at an average speed of 125.14mph in the world’s toughest sportscar race.
The JOTA team finished one-lap ahead of its nearest rival in the ultra-competitive 17-car LM P2 field.
Exeter-born Tincknell started the race from second in class on Saturday afternoon thanks to his stunning qualifying performance on Thursday evening – the Le Mans debutant deprived of “pole” position by a mere 0.065secs and he made a blistering start to lead.
All three British drivers drove faultless and consistently fast laps during their stints behind the wheel of the British-built Zytek sportscar running on Dunlop tyres.
The only unscheduled pit-stop occurred early in the race to repair some bodywork costing seven minutes.
Turvey had only flown out to join the team on Thursday morning after a last minute call-up after Marc Gené, Audi Sport’s “reserve” driver who had been loaned to JOTA, was recalled by the German team. Oliver had not sat in the JOTA Zytek since last September while this weekend’s Le Mans race was his first of the year.
JOTA Sport’s next race is the third round of the European Le Mans Series at the Red Bull Ring on 20 July. Dolan, Tincknell and Filipe Albuquerque (P) plus JOTA Sport are placed second in the Drivers’ and Team’s standings going into the four hour race in Austria.
Tincknell said: “I drove my heart out and gave it my all –absolutely everything, especially in my quadruple stint on Sunday. Everything just flowed as a combination of 15 years of racing all for this one magical moment.To win at Le Mans on my debut is the biggest moment in my career to date and is a reward for every day I train in the gym – I can’t believe it, it’s always been a dream. Twelve months ago I was watching my mentor Allan McNish winning at Le Mans on television. The weather conditions were really bad during the opening three hours and we were well down the leaderboard. But the team’s strategy was to being around at the end of the race and not to be too aggressive with the car and we proved it to be the correct strategy.”