Eastern Creek: Team Canada preview

Team Canada Looking to Carry Momentum in Australia Wednesday 31 January, 2007 -- James Hinchcliffe will again spearhead A1 Team Canada's charge in the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport as the series returns to Australia this weekend, 2nd-4th...

Team Canada Looking to Carry Momentum in Australia

Wednesday 31 January, 2007 -- James Hinchcliffe will again spearhead A1 Team Canada's charge in the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport as the series returns to Australia this weekend, 2nd-4th February, with Sydney's Eastern Creek International Raceway once again playing host to the nation versus nation open-wheel racing competition.

The second leg of a two-stop Southern Hemisphere trip to kick start the New Year, following the series' debut at Taupo Motorsports Park in New Zealand two weeks ago, the 3.93km Eastern Creek circuit will again reverberate to the sound of 23, 550bhp screaming V8-engines following its inclusion on the inaugural A1GP schedule back in November 2005 when it hosted Round 4 of the burgeoning series.

Vancouver's Sean McIntosh had the honor of racing for Canada on that occasion, qualifying the resplendent maple-leaf adorned A1GP racer seventh on the grid alongside ex-F1 pilot Jos Verstappen in the Dutch entry. McIntosh duly added to the team's points haul with a ninth place Sprint race finish, at the time points being awarded down to tenth in the Sprint race whereas now its only to sixth, before a wishbone failure robbed the team of a second-straight top-ten finish in the Feature race.

While James Hinchcliffe gets set to pick up the baton this time round in Australia, the 20-year-old Toronto rookie arrives in New South Wales off the back of an encouraging display in Round 6 in New Zealand. Two straight point scoring performances, with a pair of sixth place finishes at Taupo Motorsports Park, saw a positive return to A1GP for James having sat out the previous two rounds in Indonesia and Malaysia while McIntosh steered for Canada.

Hinchcliffe, a race winner in Formula BMW, Star Mazda and the Champ Car Atlantic Championship in his native North America, has proved to be a consistent performer for A1 Team Canada boasting a record of seven top-ten finishes in eight race starts for the team in his rookie season, including a second-place podium finish in Round 2's Sprint race in the Czech Republic last October.

Looking ahead to his Australian debut Hinchcliffe commented, "From what I've seen of the track there's going to be a large emphasis on qualifying well due to the tight confines of the race surface but I'm ready for that having brought myself back up to speed in New Zealand. The cars have run here before so I've got plenty of information to digest before we go out on Friday for practice. Sean showed the car had real pace here in Australia last season so I'm hoping we can carry that form as well as the momentum from New Zealand into this weekend's Sprint and Feature races."

-credit: team canada

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Series A1GP
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Sean McIntosh , James Hinchcliffe