Tincknell escapes injury in French crash

PUBLISHED: 07:42 11 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:13 17 May 2018

Harry Tincknell in action during the 2018 World Endurance Championship.
Spa Francorchamps, Belgium
2nd - 5th May 2018
Photo: Drew Gibson

Harry Tincknell in action during the 2018 World Endurance Championship. Spa Francorchamps, Belgium 2nd - 5th May 2018 Photo: Drew Gibson

Archant

Harry Tincknell walked away unscathed from a sizable accident at the Six Hours of Spa Francorchamps on Saturday.

The 26-year-old had just exited the pits in second place in his Ford GT when his car went straight on into the tyre barrier at the famous Eau Rouge corner after a suspected front left failure.

The weekend had got off to a fantastic start for Harry and his #67 crew. Teaming up with Guernseyman Andy Priaulx, and Brazilian Tony Kanaan, the trio topped two of three practice sessions. Tincknell and Priaulx then combined for an emphatic pole position for the six hour race, edging out teammates Olivia Pla and Stefan Mucke in the sister Ford.

Goodridge-sponsored Tincknell started the race and after an eventful first corner, ran third throughout the opening laps.

Despite the 2018 season being the most competitive in the GTE Pro class history, the top four of Mucke, Kevin Estre (Porsche), Tincknell and Gimmi Bruni (Porsche) quickly started to pull a gap to their competitors at BMW, Ferrari and Aston Martin.

Tincknell reclaimed second at the first round of pit stops. Slick service from the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing pit crew and a fast out lap from Tincknell ensured the #67 emerged ahead of Estre once the Frenchman pitted a lap later. Harry then quickly closed the gap to leader Mucke.

But on lap 27, Tincknell’s car failed to turn right at the flat out Eau Rouge corner hitting the barriers at high speed. Despite the significant impact peaking at 29G, Tincknell quickly extracted himself from the car and after being checked over in the medical centre, was released with just minor cuts and bruises.

Despite the #67’s disappointing end, Ford went on to win the race with Pla taking the checkered flag in the #66.

Harry said of his crash: “I am absolutely gutted with the result today as I feel we were in a brilliant position to win the race.

“Obviously I am very thankful to be OK and it could have been so much worse. Ford build exceptionally strong cars and that showed today.

“The marshals and medical team were fantastic and as drivers we are very lucky to have them.

“At the first pit stop we changed two tyres and I immediately had a big vibration coming from the front. Going down to Eau Rouge, as I turned right the car hit the floor and I couldn’t turn anymore.

I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best! It was all over very quickly to be honest and knew I needed to get out the car quickly to show everyone I was OK.”

Harry continued: “The team are looking into the exact cause, but it looks from the data that I lost all loading on the front just before the accident. This incident has obviously created a lot of extra work for them and I am so disappointed after being so quick this weekend.

“I know we will come back stronger and can’t wait for the Le Mans test day at the end of this month before the race itself in June.”

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