Thunderhead Carlin Racing is set to make its debut in the Asian Le Mans Series this weekend as the 2019/2020 season kicks off in China. Heading to the Shanghai International Circuit with Jack Manchester, Harry Tincknell and Ben Barnicoat, the trio of talented drivers are looking forward to racing their Dallara P217 around the Chinese circuit in what will mark another new challenge for the team in a season of firsts.
The teams’ progress was cut short during the final ELMS round in Portugal despite promising pace. A tap and subsequent spin for Manchester meant an early retirement however the team are putting that bad luck behind them as they take on the new and exciting challenges ahead. Making the switch to Michelin tyres will be just one of the many changes the team will face this weekend as they debut the Thunderhead Carlin Racing team in Asia.
The Asian Le Mans Series consists of four rounds over the next four months and will take Thunderhead Carlin Racing to China, Australia, Malaysia and Thailand. First up this weekend is the Shanghai International Circuit which is probably best known for hosting the Chinese Grand Prix. The 5.451km track was opened in 2004 and is made up of a huge 1.2km straight as well as a variety of tight corners and a unique opening complex.
Looking forward to being back in the car following his heavy crash in Portugal Manchester said, “We rounded off the ELMS season showing really good pace despite bad luck so I think we can hit the ground running in Shanghai. I’ve been in the simulator quite a bit recently to make sure that I’m as prepared as possible for the opening round of the season. The track looks as though it could suit us but I guess we won’t know until we get there. It’s also great to have Harry and Ben alongside in the cockpit to continue the relationship for another series.”
Tincknell added, “I am really excited about racing in the Asian Le Mans Series with Carlin this season. It will be the first time I’ve competed in the Championship which is going from strength to strength each year, so credit goes to the ACO for growing the sport in the Far East. It is great to team up with Jack and Ben again. The team had some really strong moments in the ELMS this year and I am extremely hopeful that we can turn those opportunities into trophies and champagne during this four race Championship. I have a great record at Shanghai winning in two out of three attempts in the World Championship in the Ford GT and the aim has to be to try and add to that this weekend.”
Barnicoat said, “I can’t wait to take part in the Asian Le Mans Series. Competing in Asia is something I have wanted to do since I started racing Sportscars in 2017 as it is a great place to get recognised as a driver, so I am very grateful to all at Thunderhead Carlin Racing for this opportunity. Myself, Jack and Harry have proved ourselves to be a great line up in the European Le Mans series this year but simply haven’t had luck on our side to get the results we are capable of, so I’m confident we will be fighting for podiums in the series.”