Hinchcliffe Seeks Success on Streets of San Jose Toronto, Canada (July 25, 2007) -- The streets of San Jose, California are set to host the penultimate round of the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by...
Hinchcliffe Seeks Success on Streets of San Jose
Toronto, Canada (July 25, 2007) -- The streets of San Jose, California are set to host the penultimate round of the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda this weekend, Round 11 of 12 -- Friday 27th -- Sunday 29th July, with Toronto's James Hinchcliffe hoping for a more favorable showing this year in California.
Competing on the 1.5-mile temporary street course as a series rookie last season, Hinchcliffe's race meeting was short to say the least as contact ended his day with just one lap completed having qualified just outside the top-ten in eleventh place.
The 20-year-old looks likely to enjoy a more competitive outing this weekend as he arrives in San Jose sitting third overall in the Driver Standings having wracked up his fifth podium of the season last weekend in the first half of a double-header meeting in Edmonton. A qualifying penalty in the second race, Round 10, dropped the Sierra Sierra Enterprises racer down to 15th on the grid but he subsequently fought back to record a tenth place finish to make third in the standings his own having arrived in Edmonton tied for the position with countryman and fellow Toronto-native Robert Wickens.
San Jose marks the final down-town street race on the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship schedule with the previous races hosted in Las Vegas, Long Beach, Houston and Toronto -- with Cleveland and Edmonton's temporary circuits using airport facilities as opposed to actual down-town streets. Hinchcliffe, who drives the #9 NOCO/ProWorks entry, boasts a pair of front-row starts from Rounds 1 and 3 in Las Vegas and Houston respectively, his best street race finish a third place effort at the JAGFlo Speedway at Reliant Park, Houston back in April.
With only four drivers having graced the top-step of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship podium this year, 'Hinch' is keen to add his name to that group before the season's out in an effort to maintain a record that shows at least one victory in each season of car racing dating back to his impressive debut in the 2004 Formula BMW USA Championship. In the points chase he trails only Raphael Matos, his Brazilian team-mate at Sierra Sierra Enterprises, and France's Franck Perera with Round 11 in San Jose this weekend followed by the series finale at Road America, Wisconsin in two weeks time.
"I just hope my race lasts longer than a lap this year," James stated candidly. "Last year's trip to San Jose wasn't the most productive for me so I'm hoping my improved form this year will allow me to challenge for the win. It's a short, challenging little circuit but I've run well on all the street circuits this season so I've got no reason to doubt that I can't get myself up there and be a front-runner."
Round 11 starts in San Jose at 3:30pm EST on Sunday 29th July.
ESPN2 will air the race as a tape delayed broadcast on Thursday 2nd August starting at 5:30pm EST.