Tincknell “battered and bruised” after 29G Eau Rouge hit

Ford driver Harry Tincknell escaped injury in a 29G crash at Eau Rouge during Saturday's FIA World Endurance Championship opener at Spa, but said the impact left him feeling "battered and bruised".

Tincknell “battered and bruised” after 29G Eau Rouge hit
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Tony Kanaan crashes at Eau Rouge
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Tony Kanaan
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Tony Kanaan
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Tony Kanaan
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Tony Kanaan
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Tony Kanaan
#66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla, Billy Johnson
#17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1: Stéphane Sarrazin, Egor Orudzhev, Matevos Isaakyan
#17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1: Matevos Isaakyan
#17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1: Stéphane Sarrazin, Egor Orudzhev, Matevos Isaakyan

Tincknell had been lying second in the GTE Pro class in the Ganassi-run #67 Ford GT he shares with Andy Priaulx and Tony Kanaan when the crash happened at the start of the second hour.

“I took my usual racing line but as I came off the kerb the car hit the ground hard and there was nothing I could do,” said Tincknell. “It felt like there was some sort of failure but the team will investigate this fully after the race.

"I feel a bit battered and bruised after a 29G impact but the fact I was able to jump out and walk away is testament to strength of the Ford GT.”

Ford Ganassi team boss George Howard-Chappell added: “This was a race of extremes for us. The most important thing is that Harry is okay.

"The car is clearly very strong and now we need to have a good look at it to work out what happened."

The sister car of Olivier Pla, Stefan Mucke and Billy Johnson went on to win in GTE Pro, marking the first WEC win for the #66 crew since Ford joined the championship in 2016.

Isaakyan unscathed after airborne crash

LMP1 driver Matevos Isaakyan had a similarly high-speed crash at the top of Eau Rouge that eliminated SMP Racing's lead challenger, the #17 BR Engineering BR1-AER, with around an hour left on the clock.

Although it was not shown on TV, it is understood the Russian's car went partially airborne, hitting the barriers on the right-hand side just beyond Raidillon with some force before coming to rest.

"Unfortunately I had a crash," said Isaakyan, who like Tincknell escaped injury in his accident. "We still need to get to the bottom of why it happened.

"We were quick all race and, even though we started last, we were able to get close to the top three and had the opportunity to fight for a podium."

The surviving #11 SMP car of Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov went on to finish fifth, promoted one place by the late exclusion of the third-placed #1 Rebellion car.

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