Canada's Hinchcliffe Re-Defining Jet-Set in A1GP Montreal, Canada (January 26, 2007) -- While the world of international motorsport undoubtedly has associations with a jet-set lifestyle, not least in a series as 'global' as the A1GP World Cup of...
Canada's Hinchcliffe Re-Defining Jet-Set in A1GP
Montreal, Canada (January 26, 2007) -- While the world of international motorsport undoubtedly has associations with a jet-set lifestyle, not least in a series as 'global' as the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, spare a thought for A1 Team Canada's rookie racer, Toronto's James Hinchcliffe, as he's re-written the term 'jet-set' in the last couple of weeks.
Having traveled as far a field as Holland, the Czech Republic, China, Indonesia and Malaysia in the first half of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, the past couple of weeks have really intensified the 20-year-old's familiarity with the demands of long-haul travel.
Combining both his race duties in A1GP and his forthcoming 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship commitments, Hinchcliffe's schedule since mid-January has taken him from his native Toronto all the way to Auckland, New Zealand, via Chicago and Los Angeles, for last weekend's sixth round of A1GP, where he scored a pair of top-six finishes for the Canadian team to maintain their top-ten placing in the Nations Standings.
While the majority of the A1GP pack remained down-under prior to next weekend's seventh round in Australia, James boarded another plane Monday and headed back across the Pacific in order to attend this weekend's Champ Car Atlantic pre-season test at Sebring International Raceway, Florida, 27th -- 28th January. Flying back from Auckland to Toronto, this time via Los Angeles and Dallas, James' feet barely had time to touch the ground as he hopped on another flight to take him from Toronto to Orlando ahead of the test.
Upon concluding his duties with Sierra Sierra Enterprises, having signed to compete with the Nevada-based team in his sophomore season of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship having finished tenth overall in his rookie year with one victory, James then makes the familiar dash to the airport on Sunday night to head from Orlando to Los Angeles then on to Sydney, Australia to prepare for the A1GP race at Eastern Creek, 2nd -- 4th February.
With a return leg from Australia to Canada including a stop-over in San Francisco, by the time James finally has an opportunity to ditch his suitcase he'll have covered approximately 60,000 kilometers (37,337 miles) since his globetrotting began three weeks earlier!
"Competing in A1GP has really been my introduction to long-haul flying," stated the Canadian in light of his recent air time. "I think at the time my flight home from the second round in the Czech Republic last October was the longest plane trip I'd experienced at nine hours. I then had a 16-hour leg flying back from Hong Kong to Toronto after being in Indonesia in Round 4 when I was on rookie duties for the team."
He continued, "I guess once you've done one ten-hour flight you get used to it pretty quickly, you know the routine that fits you best. I like to catch a couple of movies, do a bit of reading, eat a meal then get some sleep, so by the time you wake up you're ready to get off the plane.
"If you can get some rest then it can really help to minimize the jet-lag at the other end. Sometimes it's nice to get a bit of time to yourself as there are so many distractions and things to do when you're on the ground and at the track; you're often ready for a little peace and quiet when you get to your plane seat."
Looking ahead to his flight on Sunday evening back across the Pacific Ocean to Sydney, Australia, James knows what to expect.
"It's not too bad heading back there," he commented. "While there's an eighteen hour time difference to Eastern Canada, Australia's also a day ahead so by the time I get there it's really only a six hour time difference to adjust to, in some respects it's no different from flying over to Europe!
"It's been a crazy few weeks given the amount of time I've spent on planes but it's definitely worth it to meet all my commitments ahead of the new season of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship. It was great to be back racing Canada's A1GP car in New Zealand last weekend and I can't wait to get to Australia as I believe we'll have a good shot at getting that first win of the season."
Round 7 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport sees a return to Sydney's Eastern Creek Circuit in Australia, Friday 2nd -- Sunday 4th February.