Mexican Weekend Ends On Low Note For Canada Mexico City, Sunday 25 March, 2007 - A disappointing weekend in Mexico City for A1 Team Canada concluded with a 15th place Feature race finish for James Hinchcliffe in Round 9 of the...
Mexican Weekend Ends On Low Note For Canada
Mexico City, Sunday 25 March, 2007 - A disappointing weekend in Mexico City for A1 Team Canada concluded with a 15th place Feature race finish for James Hinchcliffe in Round 9 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday. The 20-year-old from Toronto had earlier raced his way from 19th to 13th in the Sprint race but frustratingly failed to break into the points-paying top-ten in the later Feature event.
Sunday morning's 12-lap Sprint race saw James skillfully pick his way through the main-straight carnage following contact between local hero Salvador Duran, in the Mexican entry, and Champ Car racer Bruno Junqueira. With Junqueira's Brazilian car spearing sideways across the track, by the time the Canadian entry arrived on the scene a clear path through the carnage had just emerged. Up to 14th by the third lap, Hinchcliffe found himself at the tail end of a train of six cars headed by New Zealand's Jonny Reid.
Battling gear selection problems and over-steer, Hinchcliffe gained another spot to 13th following a puncture for Reid and remained there through to the checkered. Malaysia's Alex Yoong converted pole position into his third win of the season, beating Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis by two seconds with Australia's Ian Dyk enjoying a successful rookie debut wrapping up the podium celebrations.
Starting from Row 7 for the scheduled 45-lap Feature race, Canada dropped a spot on the opening lap and unfortunately for the team things failed to improve through what was a caution-free race at the 4.42km track. Opting to take their mandatory stop later in the allotted window, Canada climbed as high as first on track but dropped back to 16th on lap 19 following their trip down pit-lane. From there Hinchcliffe held position through to lap 36 when he climbed one place to 15th. The slower, lapped car of Pakistan, then hindered the Champ Car Atlantic racer's hopes of closing the gap to the Czech Republic and Hinchcliffe had to settle for 15th at the checkered.
A1 Team Great Britain capitalized on a flying start from Oliver Jarvis over Sprint race winner Alex Yoong in the Malaysian entry to dominate proceedings, the British racer taking his team's first ever A1GP victory in only his second start in the series. Jarvis led home Jonathan Summerton for the USA with Adrian Zaugg taking third for South Africa.
"We tried a slightly different strategy today but things just didn't go our way," reflected Hinchcliffe after the Feature. "It's been a frustrating weekend for the team, not least as we've all worked really hard to put something together that would get us further up the order. I was hoping to make more of an impact in the Feature and was catching a train of cars before the Pakistani entry really blocked me for the best part of a lap. After that I might have cooked the tires a little too much trying to make up for lost time. It would be a bit of a stretch to find some positives from the weekend at this stage."
-credit: team canada