Friday, April 13, 2012
Tipton St John racer, Harry Tincknell, started his racing season in style at Easter weekend by taking a podium finish and a pair of fourth places in the Cooper Tires British F3 Series at Oulton Park.
Racing with the Carlin team, Tincknell qualified second in dry conditions on Good Friday but a rain shower on Saturday morning ensured the track was wet for the start of the weekend’s first race. On a slippery track, pole-sitter Jack Harvey spun his wheels, bunching up the field as the frontrunners headed into the first corner, but as Tincknell ran wide Jazeman Jaafar was able to capitalise and take second place behind Harvey.
As Harvey controlled the front of the race, Tincknell had to concentrate on defending third from Spain’s Carlos Sainz Junior, who suffered a sliding moment on lap four but was eventually able to get past on lap eight. Dutchman Hannes Van Asseldonk was next to attack Tincknell, making his way past on lap 12, only to spin off the track on the final lap. Before the race finished Tincknell was forced to defend hard yet again from Essex’s Alex Lynn, who crossed the line just 0.049 seconds behind him.
After the race, Tincknell commented: “I think the pace for the first three or four laps was really good but the car just started to go off really quick as the track started to dry. I had a really hard battle with Alex Lynn for about 10 laps; I didn’t look at my pit board at all, I had no idea what was going on, was just doing my best to keep him behind me and I managed to. It’s good points for the championship.”
With a reversed grid for the dry race two, Tincknell started from ninth place and took things carefully on lap one, moving up to seventh before taking fifth on lap two. He would then move up to fourth on lap six, when second-placed starter Spike Goddard dropped through the field.
Tincknell said of the race: “It was probably the most mental car race I’ve ever done; it felt more like a kart race to be honest! I had a good start and made up a couple of places and then came up to Druids corner and everyone was boxing up and it was hard to know what to do really! I just thought I’m just going to send it down the outside and see what happens. Everyone was braking early because they were all concertinaing up. It was a crazy race and I’m happy to have got through and got some more decent points.”
Having qualified third for race three, Tincknell was able to hold his position away from the line as second-placed Felix Serralles made a lightning start and got into the lead. From then on the top three positions remained the same for the duration of the 40-minute race, with Tincknell clocking up his first podium finish and enough points for third place in the championship standings.
Tincknell said: “It’s a good result. I had a good start but those Fortec guys are just really fast off the line! I did the best I could but after two fourth places earlier on I definitely wanted to get on the podium. There’s certainly more to come.”
The Cooper Tires British F3 Series heads to Italy’s Monza circuit next weekend for one of the 2012 championship’s four events that take place outside the UK.