HAMILTON SEVENTH AGAIN IN SECOND ST PETE'S RACE
New Zealand racing driver Mathew Hamilton was seventh again in the second of two Indy Pro Series races held at Florida's St Petersburg street circuit this morning NZ time.
The 23-year-old Christchurch driver, in his rookie season in the Indy Racing League-supporting Indy Pro Series finished seventh in the first race of the 'double-header' weekend on Saturday, and finished seventh in the second this morning, after another competitive outing in which he spent most of the 40 laps diving with 2004 Cooper Tyres US FF2000 champion Bobby Wilson.
Like Saturday's race, this morning's was again dominated by 2005 US Star Mazda Series champion Raphael Matos, the Brazilian starting from pole position and crossing the finishing line five and a half seconds in front if Florida-based British driver Jay Howard and compatriot Alex Lloyd.
After struggling later on in Saturday's race with increasing understeer young Kiwi driver Hamilton worked late into the night with his crew to re-engineer their Dave McMillan Motorsport car to better suit the tight, bumpy and concrete-lined confines of the St Petersburg street circuit and this morning Hamilton said that the car was much better in the second races.
"We were fifth fastest in the warmup this morning, so we knew we were heading in the right direction and in the race itself we were much more competitive," he said.
Hamilton now returns to New Zealand for a quick break before heading back to the United States for the third round of the 2006 Indy Pro Series, at Indianapolis in late May.
Compatriot Wade Cunningham, who was forced to sit out both weekend races after an emergency appendectomy on Thursday night, will remain in the United States and work on his fitness for the annual Indianapolis 500-supporting meeting.