Chinese street challenge awaits Canada's Hinchcliffe Beijing, China (November 09, 2006) -- A1 Team Canada's James Hinchcliffe heads to Beijing this week for Round 3 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, 10-12 November, as the Chinese ...
Chinese street challenge awaits Canada's Hinchcliffe
Beijing, China (November 09, 2006) -- A1 Team Canada's James Hinchcliffe heads to Beijing this week for Round 3 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, 10-12 November, as the Chinese capital hosts its first ever motorsport event and A1GP's first street race of the season following road course starts in Holland and the Czech Republic last month.
Hinchcliffe, making his third consecutive start for A1 Team Canada, is relishing the prospect of a street race in the 550bhp V8-powered A1GP car but faces the same unfamiliarity as the rest of the 23-car field heading into this weekend as the 3.1km layout in the south eastern section of Beijing, located in the Economic and Technological Development Zone, is untested as a racing venue therefore leveling the playing field for the participating nations.
Having progressed through the North American open-wheel racing ladder, with wins in Formula BMW, Star Mazda and Champ Car Atlantic, the 19-year-old from Toronto is no stranger to the intricacies of street racing and hopes to further showcase his pedigree in Beijing following impressive performances for the Canadian team in Zandvoort and Brno.
Steering A1 Team Canada to a second-place podium finish last time out in the Sprint race at Brno in the Czech Republic, Hinchcliffe came within five laps of backing that up with a maiden win for himself in the Feature race having led 33 out of the 38 laps. Malaysia's Alex Yoong bumped the hard charging Canadian into a spin and an eventual fifth place finish at the flag but the team's strong showing opened their points account and heading into this weekend's event in China A1 Team Canada sits fourth in the Nations Standings with 11 points while Germany leads on 20.
Previewing his trip to China James commented:
"I'm really looking forward to what's undoubtedly an exciting visit to a new circuit for both myself and the A1GP Series. Obviously I'm used to street racing but the track in Beijing is new territory for us all. I'd like to think that my previous experience with this kind of racing will come into play not to mention the fact that this will be my third straight start for A1 Team Canada so the continuity factor will hopefully play to our advantage.
"We ran really well last time out in the Czech Republic and put simply I hope we can keep that momentum going throughout the weekend. It was great to get the team's first podium of the new season but the Feature win would have been sweeter! We've proved we can put together a competitive package so I'm hoping for more of the same come Sunday!"
Sunday's Sprint race starts at 11am local time (10pm EST Saturday) with the Feature race starting at 3pm in Beijing (2am EST Sunday). The races can be watched live in Canada or on demand later via the A1GP website -- www.a1gp.com.