Hinchcliffe Relishing Return to Brno A1 Team Canada returns to the scene of its sole podium finish from last season's A1GP World Cup of Motorsport campaign, the Brno Auto Motodrom in the Czech Republic, with Toronto's James Hinchcliffe hoping...
Hinchcliffe Relishing Return to Brno
A1 Team Canada returns to the scene of its sole podium finish from last season's A1GP World Cup of Motorsport campaign, the Brno Auto Motodrom in the Czech Republic, with Toronto's James Hinchcliffe hoping to go one better than his second place Sprint finish when he competes in Round 2 of the 2007-08 season, Friday 12th -- Sunday 14th October.
Having just missed out on a top-ten finish, and early points, in this year's season-opener at Zandvoort eleven days ago, A1 Team Canada hopes to translate some of its encouraging pace into solid scores at Brno this weekend. Hinchcliffe will again lead the team's charge, returning to the 5.40km circuit where he made just his second career A1GP start a year ago, claiming second in the Sprint race before coming within five laps of taking victory in the afternoon's Feature race.
The 20-year-old Champ Car Atlantic front-runner dominated the majority of last season's Feature at the Czech track, situated 200km south of Prague, having secured Canada's first-ever A1GP front-row start courtesy of his Sprint finish behind Malaysia's Alex Yoong. The ex-F1 driver would again prove to be Hinchcliffe's nemesis in the second race, Yoong losing the lead to the young Canadian at the start but gradually reeling him in over the closing stages of the 70-minute charge.
Just five laps from the end of the Feature, and Canada's second-ever A1GP victory, Yoong and Hinchcliffe clashed with the Malaysian inheriting the lead, and subsequently the win, while James collected the Canadian entry steering it home to a still respectable fifth place finish but left to rue what might have been after such a commanding performance from the then rookie racer.
"Ever since Round 2 last year I've been looking forward to returning to Brno," enthused Hinchcliffe. "It's definitely the track I've wanted to get back to racing at most of all on this year's A1GP calendar. We had some success there last season and I've already discussed with the engineers what we'll need from the car in order keep pushing in the right direction. I think with my experience at the track and the time the team's spent together we'll hopefully be on for a good result."
He continued, "Last time out in Zandvoort was a big learning weekend for us. It was our first event together as a full team and there were certainly some positives to take away from it. I think all things considered we did a really good job although the results obviously weren't quite what we were hoping for. Ultimately by the time Sunday came round we had a pretty fast race car and now we've got a good starting point heading to Brno."
Reflecting on the season-opener A1 Team Canada's Team Manager Simon Cayzer commented, "We clearly had good pace in Zandvoort but didn't get much luck; we lost track time on Saturday and suffered in qualifying as a result. In the feature race James set his quickest lap in the early stages with a heavy fuel load, it was unfortunate that we had a problem with our pit stop and then couldn't get by the Czech car. We're now looking to re-group for Brno, James was very strong there last year so we're optimistic that we'll be able to put in a strong performance."
Sunday's 20-minute Sprint race starts at 11am local time (5am EST) with the 70-minute Feature race starting at 3pm in the Czech Republic (9am EST).
Setanta Sports Canada will broadcast all the action from Round 2 as a tape-delay on Monday 15th October starting at 8am EST