Canada Sets Top-Ten Target for Brands Finale Brands Hatch, United Kingdom -- Cracking the top-ten and earning points is tomorrow's mission for A1 Team Canada's James Hinchcliffe after the Toronto racer qualified 15th and 13th respectively for...
Canada Sets Top-Ten Target for Brands Finale
Brands Hatch, United Kingdom -- Cracking the top-ten and earning points is tomorrow's mission for A1 Team Canada's James Hinchcliffe after the Toronto racer qualified 15th and 13th respectively for the Sprint and Feature races in Round 10 of the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, the season finale unfolding at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in the United Kingdom, Sunday 4th May.
With Canada looking to secure its highest placing in three seasons of A1GP competition, the team currently ninth from 22 nations, Hinchcliffe is keen to accelerate his learning curve as he makes his racing debut at the 2.62-mile Kent track with points scoring finishes the clear objective. Robbie Kerr repeated last season's feat of securing a pole position for his home event, the British A1GP veteran claiming the Sprint pole while India's Narain Karthikeyan trumped the crowd favorite by just over two tenths of a second to snatch the Feature pole.
"Qualifying was interesting, it certainly didn't go quite as we had planned," said Hinchcliffe. "The first segment of the Sprint session was actually my first run on new tires since October. The gain in grip was phenomenal and to be honest I wasn't quite prepared for it. We were a bit off on that run but the second lap time was quite reasonable and would have been a great first attempt so I felt like I was a session behind for the Sprint which is unfortunate.
"I did a decent lap on old tires for my first Feature run and we knew what we had to try and do on new rubber for the final lap. I had a really good first and third sector but in the middle of the lap someone went off in front of me and I had to back out a bit which ultimately compromised my lap. I was happy with the car but we'll see what else we can do. The boys have done a great job as always and all being well we'll get up there and score some points tomorrow."
"We knew it would be tough this weekend with James having been out of the car for a few months," Team Manager Simon Cayzer commented. "Brands is quite a technical circuit, it's definitely not as easy to learn as some of the other tracks we visit. We kept chipping away though improving with every outing. I think we've got a reasonable package to run with tomorrow. Scoring points in the Sprint will be tough but there's everything to play for in the Feature. The Netherlands are a couple of spots ahead of us on the grid but we think if all goes to plan we could leapfrog them on the track and in the points!"
Sunday's 20-minute Sprint race starts at 11am (6am EST) with the 70-minute Feature race starting at 2:30pm in the U.K. (9:30am EST).