James Hinchcliffe Takes First Career Atlantic Pole in Montreal MONTREAL, Quebec - Saturday, August 26, 2006 - On a perfect day in Canada, native son James Hinchcliffe of Toronto claimed his first career Pole Position as he set fast lap of the ...
James Hinchcliffe Takes First Career Atlantic Pole in Montreal
MONTREAL, Quebec - Saturday, August 26, 2006 - On a perfect day in Canada, native son James Hinchcliffe of Toronto claimed his first career Pole Position as he set fast lap of the weekend with time running out in Final Qualifying for Sunday's Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal Atlantic Race. After fighting a loose condition early in the session, Forsythe Championship Racing's Atlantic squad made some changes to the #3 Emexis car that paid off as "Hinch" jumped to the top of the leaderboard with less than one minute to go. Starting up front could be especially important in Sunday's race as rain is a possibility.
Hinchcliffe was followed in the order by teammate Leonardo Maia who scored his best starting position of the year as he claimed fourth fastest time of the day. Andreas Wirth, third in the Championship point standings, and Richard Philippe, the youngest driver in the field, also finished a strong day for the Forsythe Team as they secured Top Ten starting spots.
"What can I say? It's been my dream since I started in karting to get to perform on a stage like this here in Montreal and to win my first career Pole in Canada is still kind of hard to believe. It wasn't that long ago that I was watching the Atlantics on TV and wondering what I could do if I got the chance, and Jerry Forsythe has given me that chance. I need to thank my team for giving me a great car all weekend and thanks to the fans here in Quebec for their support. It looks like we may get rain for the race tomorrow and I've managed to get a couple of wet test sessions in this year. The Emexis car is very good in the wet so I'm ready; bring it on!"
"My hat's off to the team for giving me a good car. We had a little trouble with keeping the rear stable but it wasn't too bad. I had one pretty major lucky break; when I came back out after the Red Flag for my final stint I managed to find a bunch of space on the track and really didn't have any traffic issues at all. I've had some really bad luck with that kind of stuff this year but today everything went right and here I am starting on Row 2. I won't be happy unless we end up putting the Layer 7 car on the podium this weekend, so we'll just try to get through Turn 1 and see how things play out."
"We were struggling with understeer all day in Turn 10. That corner is very long and I would have to just wait and wait for the front end to find some grip. My segment times were pretty good everywhere else but I just couldn't put the whole lap together. But the rain that's forecast for tomorrow will mix things up for everyone and I have quite a bit of experience in wet conditions so I'm hoping that will give me an advantage."
"I feel like we left a lot out there on the track today. The car was very good all day, maybe just a little bit loose, but the main problem was traffic. No matter how much we tried to find space there was somebody in the way. But there's more speed in the car and I think the race is going to be a bit crazy so with some luck we should be able to move up."