After a long break in the 2019 European Le Mans Series, Thunderhead Carlin Racing will be back in action this weekend for the third round of the championship at the Circuit de Catalunya. The long ten-week gap since Monza has left the team itching for a return to racing in Barcelona for what will be the first evening race for the team in their debut season with the race wrapping up at 22:30 local time. The Thunderhead Carlin Racing squad of Jack Manchester, Harry Tincknell and Ben Barnicoat are also more than fired up for the weekend ahead and will return to the cockpit of their Dallara P217 LMP2 car on Wednesday for a day of official testing.
Over two months ago the Thunderhead Carlin Racing team came tantalisingly close to a top ten finish securing their second 11th place finish in the competitive series. Since then the team have participated in a productive a two-day test at the Spanish circuit in anticipation of the upcoming weekend, while Manchester, Tincknell and Barnicoat have also been working hard in the simulator with the team’s engineers.
The 4 Hours of Barcelona this weekend will mark a change in the schedule for Thunderhead Carlin Racing in their debut season as they partake in their first night race which will conclude on Saturday evening. Adding a new and exciting element to proceedings, the race lights will extinguish in the late afternoon and run right the way through until 22:30; an enticing and entirely new challenge to get to grips with.
Manchester said in anticipation of the weekend, “I’m really looking forward to this one; we’ll be driving a great track in a great car, and the team has worked very hard to improve our competitiveness over the break. It’s been over two months since we last raced but the time off has been useful to unwind and focus on training. I must have done hundreds of laps in the Carlin simulator, too. The track is quite different to drive in the P2 compared with the GT3 I raced last year but I’m ready to get back out there.”
Tincknell said, “I can’t wait to be back in the Dallara this weekend at Barcelona with Thunderhead Carlin Racing. We had a really good run in Monza and if a few things had gone our way we would have had a stronger points finish but nevertheless it was a great team effort. The good thing is we have had plenty of time to debrief, regroup and come into this weekend feeling stronger as a team and ready to get the maximum result possible. Jack and Ben had a really good test recently in Barcelona, so I look forward to the three of us having a strong weekend together.”
Barnicoat added, “Following a bittersweet previous event in Monza I’ve been super keen to get back on track in our Dallara LMP2 machine and continue the great momentum our Thunderhead Carlin team have been building throughout the season. I’ve been busy since Monza with my commitments in GT racing but I can’t wait to get back into our prototype for the night race at Barcelona. Racing at night is always great fun and an extra challenge which I am looking forward to doing again. I believe we can achieve a strong top ten performance this weekend and myself, Jack and Harry will be giving it our all to make that happen!”
The Thunderhead Carlin Racing cars will take to the track for testing this week before two Free Practice sessions on Friday. Qualifying and the 4 Hours of Barcelona get underway a day earlier than previous events on Saturday.