Harry Tincknell returns to the Rolex 24 at Daytona; will join the PR1/Mattiasen Motorsports LMP2 team later this month in the #11 Oreca 07.
The veteran IMSA DPi driver is looking forward to returning to racing after his impressive performance and in particular his last stint at Petit Le Mans, which saw a stunning victory for the outgoing Mazda Motorsports DPi team.
Tincknell joins his former Mazda DPI teammate Jonathan Bomarito, along with Steven Thomas and Josh Pierson in the No. 11 PR1 Mathiasen entry for Daytona ’22, in hopes of adding the famed race to his IMSA endurance race wins at Watkins Glen, Sebring and Petit Le Men.
How excited are you to be back at Daytona with a new challenge?
Definitely looking forward to being back in Daytona. It’s a track that looks simple enough when you look at the map, but almost every corner has intrinsic features that take a long time to master, while the slipstreaming and racing is fantastic. It is one of the best races in the world.
What are your hopes for Daytona with PR1 Mathiasen in the LMP2 Oreca in this year’s race, having won the three other IMSA Endurance races?
Obviously I’d love to get that watch and the last piece of the four American endurance classics. We were so close with Mazda last year and despite the PR1’s exceptionally dominant season on its way to the championship title, it’s a race that got away for them too, so I think there’s a burning desire on all sides to put that right in ’22.
How strong do you expect competition in LMP2 to be at Daytona?
It will definitely be the strongest year yet for the LMP2 class at Daytona and in IMSA as a whole. There are some great teams with a well-known international reputation with victories in Indycar, WEC, DTM and IMSA to name a few and I think our squad can match that.
How much momentum can you take from a fantastic win at Petit Le Mans to another big race like Daytona?
It was great to go out on Petit and broadcast the Mazda program in style. I’ve never seen so many grown men and women cry after a race like I did that day and I can honestly say the next two weeks were the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s a great confidence boost that shows what role I can play in a team. I’ve had time to relax after a tiring season and I feel like I can come back to Daytona even stronger.
You will be racing again with Jonathan Bomarito, how important will that be for the balance of the drivers in that car?
Yes, it’s great to keep riding with JB. He knows Bobby (Oergel) and the team very well and every IMSA race I’ve won has been with him, so that bodes well. He is the ultimate endurance teammate and I know he wants to start strong this season.
Lap times aside, how does the Oreca LMP2 chassis differ from the Multimatic-based Mazda DPi? Should you change the way you approach each lap in Daytona?
I know the Oreca P2 car after driving it in ELMS (European Le Mans Series) last season, so even though I haven’t driven it on Michelin tyre, it’s still a car I’ve raced with before. The Oreca provides a lot of downforce and is very similar to DPi in the fast corners. It requires a slightly smoother ride compared to most DPis and lacks a bit of power, especially at the lower end of the rev range compared to the top end, but it’s still a very fast and capable machine. I know from my DPi experience that the performance levels in the right hands are very similar and it is not easy to succeed.
How helpful will your experience be to the team as a two-time Le Mans winner and no stranger to Daytona…particularly 16-year-old rising star Josh Pierson?
I haven’t had the chance to meet Josh yet, but he is clearly fast and ambitious and has a big career ahead of him. It’s amazing he can have 24 Le Mans 24 Hours by the time he’s 40! I hope I can help him and I think I’m in a good position to be old enough to have a lot of experience, but young enough to remember well what it’s like to tackle these races and sports car complexity for the first time. to grab.
As the fourth driver for Daytona, my role is primarily to fit in, to drive fast and clear and to be used as and when needed around the drivers throughout the season. PR1 is a fantastic team, the results speak for themselves and they could easily have the ability to drive LMDh cars one day. But nevertheless we can always improve and I look forward to working directly with them and I will add my feedback from my time in the car and on the strategy when needed.
Is there anything from last year’s race that can help you prepare for this?
We were 4 laps down at midnight and we were back on the lead by 6am so we definitely have to remember not to get excited too early because you can always come back. I had a great pre-season training camp to Daytona, which is a grueling race on your energy, and I’ve planned the same camp this year.
How important will the Roar test be to you in your new environment?
I’m really looking forward to doing some laps and fitting in with the team. With four drivers and a fairly limited test time, you don’t have to sleep long. I remember my first year at Daytona wasn’t quite up to speed until the race but I am a lot more experienced these days but it will still be important I feel the Oreca on the Michelin tires and build a relationship with Steven , Josh and the engineers. The team also has the Roar race to consider, a 100-minute qualifying race to set the grid for the 24.
The 2022 IMSA season kicks off with the Roar Test for the Rolex at Daytona International Speedway January 21-23. The race starts Saturday, January 29 at 13:40 local time.