Hinchcliffe Up for Canadian Street Race Toronto, Ontario (August 12, 2008) -- Round 8 of the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda sees a final return to James Hinchcliffe's native Canada as Quebec's...
Hinchcliffe Up for Canadian Street Race
Toronto, Ontario (August 12, 2008) -- Round 8 of the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda sees a final return to James Hinchcliffe's native Canada as Quebec's famed 'Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres' hosts the series for the first time since 2003 this weekend, Friday 15th -- Sunday 17th August.
A main-stay of Atlantic competition for numerous seasons, the 1.521-mile temporary Trois-Rivieres street circuit makes a welcome return to the schedule marking the fourth and final round of this season's enthralling championship battle to be hosted in Canada following a previous visit to Quebec in June, at Circuit Mont-Tremblant, and a double-header race meeting in Edmonton at the Rexall Speedway last month.
Hinchcliffe is helping to provide some of the drama in this season's title fight, racing the #3 INDECK/Tire.Rack.com Swift Mazda-Cosworth, but the Toronto-based talent would love nothing more than to reclaim the series lead he lost last weekend at Road America and exit Trois-Rivieres with his first Canadian victory and a healthy points advantage over his rivals.
The 21-year-old, winner of Round 2 at Laguna Seca in May for Forsythe Pettit Racing, was denied a top-five finish for the first time in six starts last Sunday as he finished eighth at the checkered in Round 7 at Road America. Despite this, 'Hinch' has yet to finish outside the top-ten and to-date is the only driver to hold the points lead twice and for two straight rounds -- a fact which underlines the competitiveness of the field.
"I'm really looking forward to this event," stated Hinchcliffe. "I've heard a lot about it and followed it for a long time as it always used to be one of the staple events on the Atlantic schedule. I'm really excited that we're going back there with the series. Obviously as track types go, it couldn't be any more different than the Road America circuit we raced on last weekend but based on our results that's probably a good thing! It'll be good to get back onto a street circuit. Long Beach didn't exactly go to plan at the start of the season so we're looking for a much stronger result on a street course this time round.
"To be honest we've struggled a bit in the past couple of races so it's imperative that we get our championship attack back on-track this weekend. Trois-Rivieres looks to be tight, twisty and bumpy, so in that respect no different from most street circuits, but it's going to be a new challenge for virtually everybody apart from maybe a couple of guys who've raced there previously in Star Mazda. Even then their advantage will only last for a handful of laps while everyone else learns the layout. We'll hopefully get up to speed pretty quickly as it's vital that we have a good car for qualifying. I've had top-five's at each track in Canada this season but I've yet to get the win so I'm pretty keen to fix that at Trois-Rivieres."
Friday 15th August plays host to Round 8's opening qualifying session, starting at 2pm EST, with the second leg, to lock-down the grid order, taking place the following morning 11:35am EST, Saturday 16th. Round 8 is set for 1:30pm EST on Sunday 17th August -- www.gp3r.com