Successful A1GP test for Hinchcliffe and Lacroix Montreal, Quebec (July 19, 2006) - Canadian racing stand-outs James Hinchcliffe and Kevin Lacroix lived up to their respective billings as two of the country's hottest young open-wheel talents...
Successful A1GP test for Hinchcliffe and Lacroix
Montreal, Quebec (July 19, 2006) - Canadian racing stand-outs James Hinchcliffe and Kevin Lacroix lived up to their respective billings as two of the country's hottest young open-wheel talents when they sampled the might of a 500bhp A1GP race car courtesy of a test with A1 Team Canada in the United Kingdom this week, 17th-18th July. With the new season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport looming large, Hinchcliffe (19) and Lacroix (17) tested at the 1.456-mile Pembrey Circuit in South Wales, sharing an A1GP car alongside A1 Team Great Britain.
Both drivers responded to the task of testing the most powerful open-wheel car they've driven to-date with Toronto-native Hinchcliffe running both days while Saint-Eustache's Lacroix ran Tuesday to shake-off any jet-lag having flown to the UK directly from his Star Mazda race weekend in Salt Lake City.
A1 Team Canada consultant and 1964 Ferrari F1 World Champion John Surtees was impressed with the performance of both drivers: "We tried to keep the pressure off of both drivers but obviously the responsibility and pressure was there as they're naturally competitors. Both James and Kevin acquitted themselves very well. James obviously had the benefit of running both days while I wanted to ensure Kevin had time to rest before making the leap into the A1GP car.
"Considering Kevin's experience he did a very good job learning both the car and the circuit. Everything was completely foreign to him but I was impressed with his feel for the car from the very start. James immediately showed his competitiveness and I thought he performed very well over the two days. His feedback was impressive and he responded well to changes we made to the car to test his ability. Most importantly both drivers enjoyed themselves and they left with smiles on their faces!"
Hinchcliffe, a race winner already in the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series, commented: "It was a bit of a tall order to come drive a new car at a track I'd never seen before but the team put together a great schedule and their professionalism made my job a bit easier. The biggest thing was definitely the increase in power over what I'm used to. That coupled with the hard compound tire means you really have to work for a good lap time. Pembrey's quite a technical circuit which presented its own challenges but ultimately the A1GP car is a fun car to drive!"
Lacroix, with three podiums in five starts in the 2006 Star Mazda Championship, reflected: "I wish the day had been longer! There was a lot to learn but I had a good couple of sessions putting in around 50 laps though I would have liked even more. The car has 350bhp more than the Star Mazda I'm racing at present so it was a big difference in power and challenging to carry through the corners. I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with the team and hopefully I can do it again."