Mazda’s DPi Win at Watkins Glen Good to the Last Drop
By Jeff Olson
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Getting a lift to the pits in a safety car usually isn’t a good sign for a racecar driver. In Harry Tincknell’s case on Sunday, it was pure joy.
Tincknell won the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International with a car so low on fuel that it ran dry on the cool-down lap, leaving Tincknell to wait for a ride to victory lane to greet co-drivers Oliver Jarvis and Jonathan Bomarito.
He’s been driven back to the pits after a race, Tincknell said, but never after winning.
“I’ve never been driven straight to victory lane,” Tincknell said after the celebration subsided.
Tincknell and the Mazda Motorsports strategists used a short fill in the pits during a pit stop under caution with 50 minutes left in the six-hour race to take the lead. That let his No. 55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi RT24-P pass Olivier Pla, who had built a 15-second lead before the caution in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-05 that he shared with Dane Cameron.
Knowing he was dangerously low on fuel, Tincknell tried to save as much as possible while staying ahead of Pla, a former Mazda teammate who won the 2019 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen with Tincknell and Bomarito in 2019.
Tincknell managed to hit the required fuel numbers and reached the finish line 0.965 seconds ahead of Pla. He made it a few more turns around the 3.4-mile circuit before the Mazda coughed to a stop, its fuel tank dry. Tincknell applauded the work of the engineers and strategists atop the No. 55’s pit box, who calculated it right down to the last drop.
“They had their numbers absolutely spot on,” Tincknell said. “To be honest, a perfect race car is the one that crosses the line and then breaks down. They did a fantastic job there.”
The victory pushed Tincknell and Jarvis closer to season points leaders Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque, who finished third Sunday with Alexander Rossi in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura. Tincknell and Jarvis are now 31 points behind Taylor and Albuquerque after the fifth of 10 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races for the Daytona Prototype International (DPi) class.
“I had the call on the last lap to go flat-out,” Tincknell said. “I knew at that point we should be OK. The team calculated it perfectly for the last lap, but they forgot about the in lap, so I ran out of fuel in Turn 7. It was quite a cool moment, all of us being pushed into victory lane.”
Photos by Mazda USA