Harry Tincknell is taking nothing for granted as he and the rest of the Mazda team return to Watkins Glen, the site of their first DPi win in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. With two races at Watkins Glen on back-to-back weekends, the pressure will be on to find pace sooner rather than later. Just because you showed speed one year, doesn’t mean you will be able to replicate that performance, however.
“[This race] is very important. And obviously two races in a row, back-to-back weekends at Watkins Glen… If you put a fast race car down this weekend and you’re probably going to have exactly the same next week, as well. So, it’s kind of like double points up for grabs, potentially,” Tincknell (pictured above) said.
“So, sure, we go in there with more confidence. But look, it doesn’t always work out the same way, that just because you’re quick at a track last year, it means that you’ll be quick as two years ago. … So we’re not taking anything for granted. I think it will be a little closer to this time round, but I definitely think we have a car to be in the fight.”
In addition to its success at the track in the past, the Mazda squad’s recent outing at Detroit’s Belle Isle provided an extra boost of confidence.
“The fact that we were on the front row in Detroit, which is traditionally one of our weakest circuits, gives me a little confidence that we’re going to have a pace,” Tincknell noted. “We’ve still got to go there and prove that we can do it, but I think everyone’s excited and motivated.”
After not racing at the track in 2020, Tincknell was surprised to remember just how much grip the track offered and how quick the speeds were in the DPi cars during his time in the simulator.
“Just driving the track again for the first time, even on the simulator you just go, ‘wow!’ It’s just incredible how much grip there is. Like Jonathan [Bomarito] said, in a prototype around Watkins Glen, it doesn’t really get much better, to be honest.
“That always does shock you the first few laps — how a corner you think is going to be third gear is fifth gear. It’s just incredible; you have to re-adapt your horizons a little bit. But, we’re doing that today — we were on it all day yesterday as well. We’ll go there as prepared as possible,” Tincknell said.
Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis are second in the standings, 71 points behind Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque. Jarvis and Tincknell have three podium finishes in four races but are still looking for their first win of the season.