Tincknell and Priaulx Take Victory after Troubled Race

by Alice Holloway

In a race that did not have a quiet moment, Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx took victory in the LM GTE Pro class for the 2017 World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Silverstone. A race full of incidents saw the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK car fall right down the order and have to take their pit stops out of sequence. A good strategy from the team got them back on top. LM GTE Am saw a very messy end of the race, giving the win to the #61 Clearwater Racing in an unconventional manner.

Priaulx led the LM GTE field off the line and held the pole position they had earned in qualifying. But disaster struck as, coming down one of the straights, the car door opened on the #67. Priaulx managed to get it closed from inside the cockpit but the issue was persistent. It forced the team to pit the Ford GT a lot earlier than had been intended, but the team made that work into their strategy. Rather than pitting briefly for repairs, the team moved the scheduled stop to half an hour earlier and fixed the door issue whilst giving Prilaux new tyres and fuel.

The #92 Porsche GT Team car took advantage of the #67 falling down the field and was leading the class. Porsche had explained that they appeared so far off the pace in qualifying because they were focusing on the race and the strategy for the race. However, it will never be known if their strategy would have paid off as the #92 Porsche 911 RSR caught fire and had to stop at Stowe. The car was the first casualty of the race.

Credit: Drew Gibson

The Aston Martin Racing team had a great start to the race, holding onto pole position and competitively leading the field for the first part of the race. However, Paul Dalla Lana struggled immensely in the rain and had the #98 pirouetting as the track began to dampen. It seemed that Dalla Lana just could not find the grip in the rain. The Full Course Yellows came out for the #7 Toyota to make the Aston Martin’s day a little easier. #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche lead the way when the track returned to green conditions.

The lead in the Am class changed frequently throughout the six-hour endurance race. In the closing stages of the race, it was the #61 Ferrari and the #98 Aston Martin fighting for class win. The Aston Martin had the pace advantage and was keeping the #61 at bay, but with fresher tyres, the #61 was closing in fast. A very messy overtake saw both Am cars spinning out of the race. With such an advantage on the rest of the field, it did not afford either car any positions. Getting back to racing first, the #61 took the first class victory of the season. However, damage was clearly done to both cars as, after taking the chequered flag, the #98 Aston Martin Racing car pulled up and stopped at Farm Corner.

It had been an amazing drive for the #67 crew to get the car back into winning contention. There were just ten minutes left when the door malfunction returned to the #67. Tincknell, who was in the car for the closing stages, managed to get it closed again but it had the team on the edge of their seat until the chequered flag. Pure relief was felt when the car crossed the line, bringing home the victory they deserved. The #91 Porsche GT Team car managed to take third behind the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE.

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