HINCHCLIFFE SCORES TOP FIVE IN FIRST MAZDA EVENT "Young Canadian impresses at Sebring" Oakville, Ontario -- March 21, 2005. -- 18-year-old open wheel star James Hinchcliffe (Noco Racing , Mobile 1, Pit Fit Training, AIM Autosport ...
HINCHCLIFFE SCORES TOP FIVE IN FIRST MAZDA EVENT
"Young Canadian impresses at Sebring"
Oakville, Ontario -- March 21, 2005. -- 18-year-old open wheel star James Hinchcliffe (Noco Racing , Mobile 1, Pit Fit Training, AIM Autosport #98), impresses all this past weekend in his first Pro Mazda event at Sebring Raceway in Sebring, Florida. By being forced to overcome some early race adversity, Hinchcliffe finished fifth to score his first result of '05.
After the skies opened for qualifying and the session was cancelled, series officials resorted to Wednesday's practice times for the starting grid and Hinchcliffe lined up inside row three. "We were lucky the team had the car running well in dry practice, that way we still had a decent starting spot for the race." The first start of the year was eventful for the Oakville, Ontario resident as he was boxed in and relegated down the running order to the tenth position.
"I was forced just to sit where I was", stated Hinchcliffe from Sebring Raceway. "There was a car in front of me and one beside and I had no where to go. I just tried to keep it out of trouble and was lucky to come away with no damage as all the drivers were trying to win the race in lap one."
After the first few laps, Hinchcliffe began to move his AIM Autosport ride forward. With adjustments made from in the cockpit, Hinchcliffe tried to perfect the handling of his Pro Mazda and move forward. "The balance was a little off at the beginning but after a few adjustments the car got better and I was able to show that the AIM Autosport team will be contenders this year."
With some bold moves down Sebring's long back straight and some delicate throttle control through the corners, Hinchclffe was able to make his run forward eventually finishing in the fifth position.
"The guys that run upfront in this series are so aggressive. I know for the next event I will have to push even harder and try and gain some valuable championship points. I would like to thank NOCO Lubricants, Mobil 1, Pit Fit Training and AIM Autosport for their continued support."
Hinchcliffe's next on track activity will be in 2 weeks time as the former multi-time karting champion will hit the Fontana track to try his first ever Grand Am start. Looking to make a run at both the Rookie-of-the-Year championship and the overall series title, the 18-year-old phenom will also look for his first Pro Mazda victory.