Canada Confirms Hinchcliffe for A1GP Kick Off Montreal, Canada (September 26, 2007) -- A1 Team Canada is pleased to confirm that Toronto's James Hinchcliffe will lead the team's charge this weekend at the opening round of the 2007-08...
Canada Confirms Hinchcliffe for A1GP Kick Off
Montreal, Canada (September 26, 2007) -- A1 Team Canada is pleased to confirm that Toronto's James Hinchcliffe will lead the team's charge this weekend at the opening round of the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, hosted at Circuit Park Zandvoort in The Netherlands, Saturday 29th -- Sunday 30th September.
Having helped steer Canada to an 11th place finish in the 2006-07 A1GP Nations Standings, Hinchcliffe, who made 14 starts in his rookie season with seven top-ten finishes, will again strap into the 550bhp open-wheel A1GP race car to take on 21 rival nations with A1 Team Germany out to defend the title they won in style last season with nine victories.
The 20-year-old Champ Car Atlantic Championship front-runner kicked off preparations for the new A1GP season, consisting of 11 rounds across the globe from September 2007 through to May 2008, by firing the new-look Canadian entry into the top-ten in last week's final pre-season test at England's Silverstone Circuit. Under the continued supervision of the team's new management, Status Grand Prix, Hinchcliffe debuted Canada's bold new livery and duly powered the team to the ninth fastest time on the final full day of testing prior to this weekend's eagerly anticipated season-opener in The Netherlands, the third season of competition for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.
"I'm naturally really excited at the start of a new season of A1GP," stated Hinchcliffe upon his arrival in Europe. "I'm pretty happy with the progress we've made as a team in pre-season testing. There's still a little bit of work to do but if we keep heading in the direction we were going in at Silverstone we'll be pretty competitive early in the season. There's no better place to start the new campaign than at Zandvoort. It's a beautiful circuit and on top of that the atmosphere that the Dutch fans create is just second to none. I'm really looking forward to getting back on track on Saturday."
Hinchcliffe planted Canada firmly at the top of the timesheets on his A1GP debut at Zandvoort a year ago, the rookie leading the Friday practice session at the 4.18km seaside circuit before going on to record a seventh place qualifying effort and eighth and 13th place finishes in the Sprint and Feature races. With noise restrictions at the track creating a ban on Friday practice this season, meaning no 'Rookie Only' session either, A1 Team Canada's first practice takes place on Saturday morning.
"I share James' enthusiasm to get the season underway," commented A1 Team Canada Seat Holder Wade Cherwayko. He continued, "Considering it's a brand-new team in terms of the personnel now involved in the Canadian operation, I feel we've made good progress and our performance at the last test hopefully bodes well heading into this weekend's opening round at Zandvoort. James is no longer the rookie and we'll be counting on his experience to help lead the team as we're focused on breaking back into the top-ten in the Nations Standings having just slipped out at the end of last season."
Simon Cayzer, A1 Team Canada's Team Manager is similarly keen to get going after a productive pre-season. "We've come together as an all-new team really well and I think we're all looking forward to the season starting having spent the past couple of months preparing for it. The set-up of our car is looking pretty good and we know James is fired up; his track knowledge will be a huge bonus. We might be in for a mixed weekend weather-wise but I'm confident we'll be up there!"
Sunday's 30-minute Sprint race starts at 11am local time (5am EST) with the 70-minute Feature race starting at 3pm in The Netherlands (9am EST).