Tincknell: “No hiding place” for Mazda in 2018

Harry Tincknell believes Mazda has no excuses not to succeed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship next year, with multiple Le Mans-winning outfit Joest Racing running its cars.

Tincknell: “No hiding place” for Mazda in 2018
Mazda Motorsports Team Joest RT24-P livery
Podium GTE Pro: winners Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing
Mazda Motorsports Team Joest RT24-P livery
Mazda Motorsports Team Joest RT24-P livery
Mazda Motorsports Team Joest RT24-P livery
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell in the pits
Mazda Motorsports Team Joest RT24-P livery
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell
Mazda Motorsports Team Joest RT24-P livery

After four victories with Porsche machinery, Reinhold Joest’s team won the Le Mans 24 Hours 11 teams with Audi between 2000 and 2014, but had been without a program since Audi’s departure from the World Endurance Championship prior to announcing the deal to field the Multimatic-built Mazda RT24-P prototypes.

Tincknell joins former Audi Team Joest factory driver Oliver Jarvis and Mazda regulars Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nunez in the team, with DTM champion Rene Rast and Spencer Pigot added to the roster for the four endurance races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans.

The 26-year-old Briton will combine his IMSA schedule with Ford’s GT effort in the WEC and is confident after a multi-day test at Sebring that the heavily-revised Mazda DPi will be capable of fighting for wins. Mazda achieved three podium finishes in its first season before withdrawing after Road America to focus on testing for 2018.

“Mazda have had a very successful history in the States and Team Joest has won Le Mans 15 times, so it’s a very strong partnership, there’s no weak links,” Tincknell told Motorsport.com. “There’s a going to be a lot of competition, so there’s going to be no hiding place and we’ve got to get up to speed quickly.

“It’s going to take a little while for everything to gel together with a heavily-revised car, but everything looks very strong in terms of reliability and laptimes so far. You always know in the first few runs whether you’ve got a car underneath you that’s got potential, and that’s certainly what I felt driving the Mazda for the first time.”

WEC superseason opened door for Tincknell in IMSA

Although initially “disappointed” with having only five WEC rounds in 2018 as the championship switches to a new winter calendar, Tincknell explained that his availability opened the door to race in IMSA.

Tincknell first met Mazda program manager Jon Doonan at Daytona in 2015 and his good form in the WEC with Ford, combined with manager Allan McNish’s long-standing relationship with Joest, helped smooth the way.

“It was disappointing to only have five races next year, but that freed me up to race full-time in the States,” he said.

“When I saw that Mazda was teaming up with Team Joest in a Multimatic-built car, I knew that was something I really wanted to be a part of if possible and with the superseason split over two years, I knew there was a potential opportunity there, so I’m very grateful that all the stars have aligned to allow me to do both.”

Tincknell confirmed he would prioritize the Spa 6 Hours over the IMSA round at Mid-Ohio when the two events clash.

 

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