Mexico City Beckons Canadian Racers Wednesday 21 March, 2007 - After a month-long hiatus the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport roars back into life this weekend, Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th March, as the series crosses the Atlantic for the...
Mexico City Beckons Canadian Racers
Wednesday 21 March, 2007 - After a month-long hiatus the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport roars back into life this weekend, Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th March, as the series crosses the Atlantic for the first and only time this season for Round 9 at the 4.42km Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico.
A1 Team Canada, sitting tenth overall in the Nations Standings with three rounds of A1GP's sophomore season remaining, will again field the talents of Québec's Kevin Lacroix in Friday morning's 'Rookie-Only' session with Ontario's James Hinchcliffe later assuming duties for Saturday qualifying and Sunday's Sprint and Feature races.
Lacroix, runner-up in last year's Star Mazda Championship, joins the Canadian team for the second time having made his series debut participating in the Friday rookie session in Round 8 in South Africa last month. The 18-year-old from Saint-Eustache faced a steep learning curve driving the A1GP car for just the second time in his career and on a brand new street circuit but he rose to the challenge before handing over to James Hinchcliffe for the remainder of the weekend.
"It was good to get back into the car again in South Africa although the hour long rookie session goes by pretty quick," said Lacroix ahead of his second A1GP event for Canada. "Despite having a month's layoff between meetings I'm confident I'll be more comfortable in the car this time round. It's a lot more powerful than the Star Mazda I raced last year, there's less downforce and it's definitely a much harder car to drive but it's also a lot of fun. It's my first time at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez, I've watched races there on TV and I'm sure I'll pick up the track pretty quickly. I'm looking forward to Friday's session and strengthening my relationship with the team."
Hinchcliffe's Durban excursion proved somewhat frustrating, the Champ Car Atlantic racer posting a 13th place Sprint finish before suffering a second straight opening lap Feature race retirement. With Canada failing to score since Round 6 in New Zealand in January, a strong performance in North America is key to maintaining its top-ten standing as season's end approaches next month in the U.K.
Hinchcliffe is keen to debut at the Mexican track stating, "It's a career first for me and for pretty much everyone else on the A1GP grid with the exception of Brazil's Bruno Junqueira who's raced here in Champ Car. I think it's a phenomenal venue and it looks like it'll be a blast to drive. We've had a bunch of bad luck in recent races so I'm hoping we can benefit from a trouble free weekend and if that comes off then I've got no doubt we've got a good chance for a pair of decent finishes. There's still some work to be done in qualifying the car higher up the grid but I'm confident we can get back on track in Mexico City."
Sunday's Sprint race starts at 11am local time (Noon EST) with the Feature race starting at 3pm in Mexico (4pm EST).
-credit: team canada