Canada's Hinchcliffe Wins Gilles Villeneuve Award Montreal, Canada (August 14, 2007) -- Continuing to uphold Canada's excellence in world class motorsport, Toronto's James Hinchcliffe was presented with the Gilles Villeneuve Award on Sunday...
Canada's Hinchcliffe Wins Gilles Villeneuve Award
Montreal, Canada (August 14, 2007) -- Continuing to uphold Canada's excellence in world class motorsport, Toronto's James Hinchcliffe was presented with the Gilles Villeneuve Award on Sunday evening as the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship season concluded at Road America, Wisconsin with its traditional end-of-year awards banquet.
Hinchcliffe, who raced for A1 Team Canada in the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, had earlier in the day wrapped up a fourth place finish in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Driver Standings having campaigned the #9 NOCO/ProWorks Swift Mazda-Cosworth throughout the season for the Nevada-based Sierra Sierra Enterprises outfit.
The 20-year-old's sophomore year included three pole positions from eight top-five starts and five podium visits from a total of nine top-ten finishes through 12 rounds comprising a mixture of temporary street circuits and permanent road courses across the United States and Canada.
Hinchcliffe's performances were duly noted and on Sunday evening, in-front of team members, sponsors and family, the promising Canadian was duly presented with the Gilles Villeneuve Award. Named after the legendary Canadian Formula One star and 1976 Formula Atlantic Champion, the award is traditionally presented to the driver in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship who posses extraordinary ability, star quality and who has distinguished himself through sportsmanship, dedication and perseverance in the face of disappointment.
"To be honest after the weekend that I had at Road America I was surprised to be leaving Sunday night with any hardware," Hinchcliffe remarked. "Obviously I've known about the award in terms of I've always kept track of who's won it in the past and Gilles Villeneuve has always been one of my racing heroes. To have won an award that bares his name would mean a lot to any driver but I think it means that little bit more when a Canadian wins it. Looking at the names who've won it in the past just adds how special it is to be a recipient.
"My season was an improvement over last year's but still not quite what I was hoping to have had achieved. We certainly had a quick car and were consistently fast but we had a few 'wrong place, wrong time' moments. The highlights of the year were my podium finishes in Canada at Mont-Tremblant and Edmonton. It was disappointing I couldn't make it three for three with my home race in Toronto, having been taken out, but I love racing in Canada, the fans here are second to none!"
The 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship was won by Hinchcliffe's Sierra Sierra Enterprises team-mate, Brazil's Raphael Matos -- a driver who also boasts A1GP experience having raced for A1 Team Brazil last season.
The 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport kicks off with a two-day official pre-season test at England's Silverstone Circuit, Tuesday 28th -- Wednesday 29th August, with Round 1 of the 11 race nation versus nation series hosted at Circuit Park Zandvoort in The Netherlands, Saturday 29th -- Sunday 30th September 2007 -- scene of Hinchcliffe's debut for A1 Team Canada last season.