Former Ford GTE/GTLM drivers Harry Tincknell and Richard Westbrook will return to the Le Mans 24 Hours in the GTE Pro ranks this year with a new team, Aston Martin Racing.
Westbrook, a Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours class winner, will race alongside Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen in the #95 Aston Martin Vantage AMR which currently leads the GTE Pro Drivers World Championship after two wins in the 2019 leg of the 2019/20 FIA WEC season.
“I think for anyone, racing for Aston Martin is something you can be extremely proud of but being British makes it that little bit more special,” said Westbrook. “Aston Martin Racing is leading the world championship, and they are an elite team, with the best quality engineers and mechanics all the way through. And the car is really singing on top note right now, so it’s a good time to be joining.
“I’m excited to be working with Nicki again, we raced together in the Nürburgring 24 Hours in 2014, and I found that we were quite similar in the way we worked and what we wanted from the car. I’ve never driven alongside Marco, but I have raced against him and I’ve only ever heard and seen good things. I know I am going to fit right in, and that is really important at a race like Le Mans.”
Tincknell, a class winner at Le Mans on his race debut in LMP2 back in 2014 has driven for Ford and Nissan as factory driver in recent years and still competes with Mazda Team Joest in IMSA. He will race at Le Mans as the third driver in the #97 alongside fellow Briton Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin.
“I’m going to try and support Aston in the championship, Max and Alex are right up there in the championship. I’ll be available for the other races if required, we’ll wait and see,” Tincknell told DSC. “It’s a busy time of the year for me right now, but we’re going to make a plan. There will be some testing involved beforehand.
“This is great for Westy too to be in the #95. He did a great job in IMSA the last four years. As for my other Ford teammates, Ryan (Briscoe) is in the #10 car in IMSA and Seb (Bourdais) also is now in IMSA as well. Andy’s you know coming to form in World Touring Cars as well and obviously following his progress very closely.
“It (Ford Chip Ganassi) was a really high-level programme, we learned masses from it not only in experience but also just in how to communicate with the team how to how to set a car up how to develop a car. Hopefully I can bring some of this to Aston.
“Last year when I was racing against the Vantage AMR it appeared that its weakness was in the tyre, whether or not they could hang on for a whole stint. But the new tyre looks like it suits the car better, it’s an all-round car now. It’ll be interesting to get behind the wheel, I haven’t driven a front-engined car since the Nissan LMP1 days.”
Aston Martin’s GTE Am line-up for its #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage remains unchanged for Le Mans. It will be driven by the full-season trio of Paul Dalla Lana, Darren Turner and Ross Gunn.
Last year at Le Mans Darren Turner and Jonny Adam were Aston Martin’s nominated third drivers for Le Mans. Both will drive Aston Martins at Le Mans this year, Turner in the #98 and Adam in TF Sport’s GTE-Am Vantage.
The FIA WEC returns to action at COTA on 22-23 February, while the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place on 13-14 June.
Image courtesy of Aston Martin