Tincknell battles back from crash to join Carlin

Harry Tincknell plans to come out fighting in this year’s Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series after switching to the Carlin team and following his recovery from a career-threatening hand injury.

Exeter-based Tincknell, 19, was testing for Carlin at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium last November when he crashed into a wall at 70mph. He broke a knuckle joint in his right hand in the impact and has been out of the cockpit since, undergoing a tricky operation and extensive physiotherapy.

He believes he has now turned the corner and will be fit for action for the first collective tests of the pre-season in early March: “It was a hefty shunt and a bad injury - the specialist said it was one of the worst he had seen - but I’m really happy with the way my recovery has been going and I’m making progress daily and I’m getting back the full range of movement in my hand. Unfortunately it has interrupted my winter training programme and I’m having to play catch-up now.

“The plan is to hopefully get out on track in a junior car towards the end of the month to make sure my hand can cope with the vibrations and stresses, and then to progress from there. I’m confident that by March I will be back to top form.”

Tincknell won one British F3 race - at Brands Hatch - for the Fortec team in his maiden season in the world’s leading championship for the Grand Prix stars of the future. Harry is confident of being a front-runner in 2012: “There hasn’t been a British champion in British Formula 3 for too many years now - my aim is to put that right. I’m really happy to be going with Carlin: it’s the sort of opportunity that no driver can refuse.

“I’ve visited the new factory and it’s great to see Carlin’s commitment and professionalism. You have only to look at their past drivers to see that the whole team is driven to succeed in this series - I want to be another of their successful names.”

Trevor Carlin welcomed Tincknell to the team, in which he will join fellow Englishman Jack Harvey and Spain’s Carlos Sainz Jr and two yet-to-be confirmed colleagues: “It’s great to have Harry on board with us as one of our five drivers for the 2012 season. Harry has impressed in all the categories in which he has competed previously and we’re looking forward to testing with him and the new car shortly. We believe Harry is capable of fighting for victories and ultimately the championship with Carlin this year.”

British Formula 3, which enjoys the headlining support of Cooper Tires and is additionally backed by Sunoco Racing Fuels and Anglo American Oil Company, gets underway at Oulton Park at Easter. The schedule features races on the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuits of Monza, Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone, as well as the blue riband Grand Prix de Pau and events alongside the Blancpain Endurance Series at Paul Ricard and with British GT on the UK’s top circuits.