Mexico City: Team Canada Saturday report

Qualifying Woes Limit Canada To Tenth Row In Mexico Mexico City, Saturday 24 March, 2007 - Qualifying for Round 9 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, hosted at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City this weekend,...

Qualifying Woes Limit Canada To Tenth Row In Mexico

Mexico City, Saturday 24 March, 2007 - Qualifying for Round 9 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, hosted at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City this weekend, proved to be a tough affair for A1 Team Canada with Toronto's James Hinchcliffe a disappointing 19th on the timesheets at the end of Saturday's session.

Having sampled the 4.42km Mexican circuit for the first time in Friday practice, Hinchcliffe was hoping to build on that experience with a strong run in Saturday's final practice but the 20-year-old ended the hour-long session down in 17th place from the 22-strong field of nations lined up to compete.

The afternoon's qualifying session saw the team fare little better as Hinchcliffe battled a loose car throughout his four timed runs to set an aggregate lap time of 2m56.120s, placing him on the tenth row of the grid for Sunday's 20-minute Sprint race, those results forming the start order for the afternoon's 70-minute Feature race.

Hinchcliffe opened up his qualifying effort with a 1m28.462s lap time, good for 16th overall before opting to remain on the same set of tires for his second run, improving his time to 1m28.242s. With another fresh set of tires for his third run he recorded a lap of 1m28.659s. Armed with one final set of tires, the Champ Car Atlantic racer bagged his best of the day with a 1m27.878s.

Pole position went to Alex Yoong in the Malaysian entry with the ex-Formula One driver joined on the front row of the grid in Mexico by German rookie Christian Vietoris.

"It's been a crushing day if I'm being honest," stated Hinchcliffe. "The car was really loose all day and as a result I just couldn't get the exit speed off the corners. Getting back on the power is key here but we just had no balance in the car and that's reflected in our qualifying result. It's tough to take as we're running a similar set-up to the British squad but I guess there's a difference in the driving styles which meant we didn't exploit the configuration. We'll keep working on it and hopefully we can find a workable solution that'll allow us to compete tomorrow!"

Sunday's Sprint race starts at 11am local time (1pm EST) with the Feature race starting at 3pm in Mexico (5pm EST).

-credit: team canada

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Alex Yoong , Christian Vietoris , James Hinchcliffe