Zandvoort: Team Canada Friday report

Hinchcliffe leads the way with A1 Team Canada fastest in Holland Zandvoort, Holland (September 29, 2006) -- A1 Team Canada set the benchmark in practice today ahead of Round 1 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport on Sunday, 1st October,...

Hinchcliffe leads the way with A1 Team Canada fastest in Holland

Zandvoort, Holland (September 29, 2006) -- A1 Team Canada set the benchmark in practice today ahead of Round 1 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport on Sunday, 1st October, as Toronto's James Hinchcliffe (19) belied his rookie status to lead the field of 23 nations with a fastest lap of 1m28.994s around the 4.18km Circuit Park Zandvoort.

Making his race debut for A1 Team Canada this weekend, following two promising tests behind the wheel of the 550bhp V8-powered A1GP car, James was immediately a front-runner in the rookie session which preceded official practice. Fifth fastest over the course of two twenty-five minute runs, James' form was merely an indication of what was to come as he took to the track for official practice later in the day.

The Canadian, who tasted victory in Portland earlier this year on his way to a 10th place finish in the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship driving for Forsythe Racing, made the most of a fresh set of Cooper tires to post the only sub-1m29s lap of the session on just his fourth lap out of the pits. His benchmark time of 1m28.994s stood throughout the hour long practice run and while former Indy Racing League driver, A1 Team Great Britain's Darren Manning, came close he couldn't beat the Toronto teenager's debut time.

James Hinchcliffe:

"The team did a phenomenal job today, they gave me a great race car and I'm just excited to be here racing for A1 Team Canada for the first time. Zandvoort's an awesome track and the number of fans here today for a Friday practice session is just incredible! I'm still learning little nuisances with the car and the track's still new to me but to get a car capable of going fastest on my competitive debut is a great testament to the team."

A1 Team Canada Consultant, 1964 Formula One World Champion, John Surtees:

"It's a tremendous boost for James to set the fastest Friday time on his very first A1GP race weekend. The whole A1 Team Canada crew did a fantastic job and it bodes well heading into qualifying."

Sunday's A1GP Sprint race starts at 11am with the Feature race starting at 3pm local time (CET).

-credit: www.a1teamcan.com

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Darren Manning , John Surtees , James Hinchcliffe