Harry Tincknell said Sunday’s Road Race Showcase at Road America was “flat out, every lap” as Mazda Team Joest clinched its third consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win in a new distance record.
Tincknell held off a hard-charging Dane Cameron for the duo’s second win of the season, completing his triple stint without air conditioning in the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P.
The Englishman, who delivered the Japanese manufacturer’s breakthrough first win at Watkins Glen, told Sportscar365 post-race that he felt had “the tools” to hold off Cameron despite the challenging conditions and frantic final laps with traffic.
“He was pushing hard,” Tincknell said. “I just had a really bad run of traffic the last four and five laps, just getting caught in the Carousel losing two seconds.
“I knew, even if he got right there, I had the tools to hold him off.
“It got a bit dicey in Turn 5 but I managed to close him off before he got alongside me.
“I’m so happy for the team; three in a row. We got hit hard with the BoP. We didn’t have the ultimate pace in qualifying and maybe in the race. We got it done on strategy.”
Tincknell took over the lead of the two-hour and 40-minute race with a bold move on the outside of Juan Pablo Montoya in Turn 1, in what the Mazda driver characterized as “awesome and proper racing.”
The No. 55 Mazda achieved a new track race distance record of 83 laps (335.984 miles), breaking the previous record from 2015.
“It was flat out every lap. The triple stint in the end was tough,” Tincknell said.
“After a while I was hoping it was going to go caution-free because we had track position and that was the big thing for me. I wasn’t sure if we would have the position in the end.”
Tincknell paid tribute to race engineer Vince Libertucci, who claimed his first win as lead engineer on the No. 55 car, which had been previously run by Multimatic chief Larry Holt for most of the season.
“This is a huge moment for him and his career,” he said. “He’s going to be around for a long, long time.
“It’s been an unbelievable job by everyone on the team. They gave me a great car today.”
Mazda Thought It Would Be Racing for Third
Bomarito admitted they thought they’d be racing for third on Sunday after getting hit with a sizable Balance of Performance adjustment prior to the weekend.
Acura Team Penske swept the front row in qualifying and had topped the time charts in every session leading into Sunday afternoon’s race.
“Honestly we didn’t think we would have the pace to win this race today,” Bomarito told Sportscar365.
“It was an absolute hard fight the whole race, max push the whole time. Both Harry and I were good in traffic and I think that’s what saved the race for us today.
With the win, Bomarito has moved into a tie for third in the DPi championship, 17 points behind Acura Team Penske’s Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya.
“We’re closing that gap,” Bomarito said. “To actually win the championship is a bit of a long shot but I would say if we could be in the top-three in the championship by the end of this year, it would be an amazing accomplishment.
“And that would give us a lot of momentum and encouragement to fight for the championship next year.”