Image credit: Harry Ticknell Website.
JOTA Sport have announced that Youngun British sportscar sensation Harry Tincknell will make a dramatic return to the team to contest the full five-race European Le Mans Series this year, and it can’t have escaped any of their competitor’s notice that the 2104 ELMS Vice Championship team now has two current factory WEC LMP1 drivers on-board!
The 23-year-old Nissan NISMO factory LMP1 driver will again team up with Simon Dolan and Filipe Albuquerque – the same JOTA trio who cruelly missed out on last year’s ELMS title by just four points.
Tincknell has been given permission by Nissan NISMO to race the LM P2 class JOTA Sport Gibson 015S-Nissan in ELMS alongside his FIA World Endurance Championship commitments for the “factory” team. Harry had been due to debut the radical Nissan GT-R LM NISMO in the WEC opening round at Silverstone this month. But Nissan NISMO announced recently that it would delay the car’s debut until the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
He will now compete at Silverstone over the same weekend in the first round of the ELMS, the 4 Hours of Silverstone, staged on Saturday 11 April. Although the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO will not race at Silverstone, Tincknell will be attendance on the day of the WEC race (12 Apr) with his NISMO team-mates to meet fans and the media.
“I’m very grateful to Nissan NISMO for allowing me to undertake the ELMS programme with JOTA Sport alongside my commitments for NISMO in the FIA World Endurance Championship.” said Ticknell “Of course my sincere thanks goes to JOTA for the unexpected call-up. I’m really excited to be re-united with the ‘#Mighty38′ in ELMS for a second consecutive season.
“The JOTA and Gibson guys have worked really hard on the car over the winter and new updates feel strong while we know the NISMO engine is the strongest out there in LMP2.”
Tincknell joined Dolan and Albuquerque in reacquainting himself with the rebranded Gibson at the official ELMS test at Paul Ricard in Southern France last week and was the first time Harry had driven the car since the 2014 ELMS finale at Estoril last October.
“Our Ricard test was extremely valuable. We followed our programme, recorded some decent mileage and gathered a lot of useful data about the new parts.” added Team Owner and Driver Dolan. “All in all, we achieved everything we wanted to.
“I couldn’t be happier to have Harry back in the JOTA car for ELMS. He is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best, LM P2 drivers on the grid, and a great team player. It’s a privilege to be sharing a car with him again.”
The JOTA trio, which scored three podiums – including one win – and four pole-positions in ELMS last season, completed over 1,000-miles over the two days in a mixture of weather conditions at Ricard. Tincknell only drove on the first day before leaving for America for a Nissan NISMO test.
When asked how he felt on Ticknell’s return, Audi LMP1 loanee Filipe Albuquerque added “It was great to have Harry back testing with us. Everything just felt so normal after working together last year. Simon, Harry and I finished a close second in the series last year and now the same crew will do everything it can to go one place better.”