BITTERSWEET WEEKEND FOR HINCHCLIFFE AT MID-OHIO "Car troubles force Hinchcliffe to start mid-pack" Oakville, Ontario -- May 23, 2005. -- 18-year-old open wheel star James Hinchcliffe (Emexis Integrated Solutions, Noco Racing, Mobil 1, Pit Fit...
BITTERSWEET WEEKEND FOR HINCHCLIFFE AT MID-OHIO
"Car troubles force Hinchcliffe to start mid-pack"
Oakville, Ontario -- May 23, 2005. -- 18-year-old open wheel star James Hinchcliffe (Emexis Integrated Solutions, Noco Racing, Mobil 1, Pit Fit Training, AIM Autosport #98), had a tough event this past weekend at the Star Mazda series presented by Goodyear at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH.
Hinchcliffe and his AIM Autosport squad had car trouble all weekend long as the crew members tried to sort out the problems. The Canadian ran near the bottom of the charts in the unofficial practice sessions on Thursday as engine problems kept the car running well below its potential, but he was able to make up some ground in Saturday's qualifying round.
Hinchcliffe was not about to give up and after determining the problems, was on track in qualifying and was able to turn a respectable time compared to the track time that he lost on the test days. The Oakville, ON resident turned the 11th quickest time and would start the event from inside row six.
Throughout the thirty lap race, Hinchcliffe was able to progressively move forward with precision and accuracy. Looking to stay out of trouble and gain as many championship points as possible, Hinchcliffe finished in the 7th position.
"We were frustrated on Thursday as we were having some mechanical gremlins that were hampering our testing efforts" explained Hinchcliffe.' The crew worked really hard and finally got everything sorted out before qualifying but we lost valuable track time in the process. There were two caution periods in the race that obviously robbed me of some opportunity to move further up. I am also very disappointed with IMSA, who wrongfully made me let a car pass me during the safety car period as they had accused me of passing after yellow. After it had gone green they admitted they got the car numbers mixed and I had done nothing wrong. They offered no apology let alone any compensation. Having said that and having dealt with all that went wrong this weekend I am happy to walk out of here with a top ten result and a handful of points. From here I will begin to prepare for the next round where I am very confident you will see AIM and the #98 on the podium."
Heading to Montreal and the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, Hinchcliffe and his AIM Autosport squad will look to perform well in their first Canadian stop. Due to scheduling restraints, there will be no qualifying and drivers will line up according to current point standings and as Hinchcliffe sits 5th, only 5 points out of second, he will start inside row three. The Canadian pilot sits third in the Rookie-of-the-Year standings as he sits 3rd only four points out of the lead
Hinchcliffe's next on track activity will be June 10-12 as he will look towards victory at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal, PQ.