Harry Tincknell’s gotten just about everything out of life during his first 29 years.
The factory Mazda DPi driver has big wins with the Multimatic-led team in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, an LMP2 class win on debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a second Le Mans victory that came last year as part of the factory Aston Martin GTE-Pro effort, a European Le Mans Series title to his credit, and stints as a factory driver for Nissan, and Ford with its former GT effort in the FIA WEC.
For the talented kid from England who spent most of his early career trying to find his way into Formula 1, the former open-wheeler has made the most out of an unanticipated turn to sports cars and endurance racing. And it’s here where Tincknell hopes to continue the story as Mazda heads into the last few months of a program that’s set to end; with an open calendar for the 2022 season and beyond in IMSA, finding a new DPi – and soon to be LMDh – home with a manufacturer is where his sights are fixed.
“The last four seasons with Mazda has been a great ride to be part of that journey as we’ve developed the car to go from the back to the grid to becoming genuine contenders to win everywhere we go with Multimatic behind us,” Tincknell told RACER. “This year, we’ve been very, very consistent, had a great win at Watkins Glen, always been on the podium, or very close to it, and that’s why we’re 43 points away from leading the championship.
“So I’m very much looking forward to that title fight, and I think, obviously, if we can keep winning and keep getting podiums, that can only help for the future. Hard to say exactly where or what I’m going to be doing in IMSA after this year, but I know I love racing in America and don’t want it to stop.”
Tincknell keeps busy with a secondary program in the ELMS, but it’s the WeatherTech Championship or the FIA WEC in a prime LMDh or Hypercar factory effort where his talents would be properly rewarded. Managed by three-time Le Mans winner and Audi Sport team principal Allan McNish, Tincknell said there’s an assumption he’s got an automatic invite to drive for the German factory.
Additionally, with his direct ties to Multimatic, which was hired by the Volkswagen Group to build its new Audi- and Porsche-branded LMDhs, there’s yet another layer of assumption that Tincknell’s a lock to represent one company or the other when the formula launches in 2023.
“Multimatic, with Larry Holt and Steven Charles and Raj Nair took a leap of faith for me in the early days, in the Ford GT program, and now, six, seven years later, I feel like I have a huge family around me,” he said. “They’ve been great to me, and so I’m keen to remain loyal to them since they’ve got a very large part to play in the future of LMDh.
“So the next part is tricky, because with Audi coming back, I’ve heard a lot in the paddock about Allan being able to pop me into a ride there, but it’s really not how that works. I feel like I have a lot of experience in both GT and in prototypes, and also have a lot of Le Mans experience to offer, I’d love to be in contention for all the top rides, and somehow remain involved with Multimatic as well, but let’s see what happens in the future.”