Britain's Harry Tincknell will complete the FIA World Endurance Championship season with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing as the team opted to extend what was originally a three-race programme that ended with last month's Le Mans 24 Hours.
The 'factory' Ford team has now invited Tincknell to race in the remaining six WEC rounds, something he is able to do thanks to the 'gracious understanding' and blessing of Nissan, whom he represents in the European Le Mans Series.
Tincknell, along with fellow Britons Marino Franchitti and Andy Priaulx, posted fourth- and second-place finishes in the opening two WEC races, before finishing ninth in the Le Mans 24 Hours after a gearbox issue early in the race effectively scuppered the team's podium ambitions. The three remaining Ford GTs placed first, third and fourth in the blue riband event, 50 years since the manufacturer's historic 1-2-3 outright race finish in the French race.
“I am massively excited now to have the opportunity to complete the WEC with Ford this year,” Tincknell said, “Since I moved across from single-seaters to endurance racing in 2014, it's always been my ambition to compete full time in the WEC. Additionally, it's incredible that my first full WEC season will have been with the 'factory' Ford team. I'm already looking forward to getting back onto the GTE-Pro podium after what was a historic Le Mans victory for Ford, but a tough 24 Hour race for our #67 Ford GT.”
Tincknell, who currently leads the ELMS standings, faces at least two endurance races a month from now until December, with his only break from the schedule coming in August.
“I've now got a very busy end to 2016, what with the final four races in the European Le Mans Series plus six WEC races,” he confirmed, “I've previously raced at the Nürburgring and in Bahrain, and tested at COTA last year, plus I have some very experienced team-mates to help me quickly get up to speed in terms of Mexico, Fuji and Shanghai. I literally cannot wait to race at these world renowned venues. I naturally must thank Nissan for allowing me to complete the WEC season and I am fully focused in attempting to claim the ELMS title for them competing in the Nissan-powered Gibson.”