A1 Team Canada eighth fastest in A1GP qualifying Qualifying, Round 1 -- A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Circuit Park Zandvoort, Holland Zandvoort, Holland (September 30, 2006) -- A1 Team Canada racer, Toronto's James Hinchcliffe, kept the...
A1 Team Canada eighth fastest in A1GP qualifying
Qualifying, Round 1 -- A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Circuit Park Zandvoort, Holland
Zandvoort, Holland (September 30, 2006) -- A1 Team Canada racer, Toronto's James Hinchcliffe, kept the Canadian entry at the sharp end of the field in qualifying today securing eighth on the grid from the 23 nation field ahead of tomorrow's opening round of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Sunday 1st October, at Circuit Park Zandvoort, Holland, the open-wheel racing series entering its sophomore season pitching nation against nation across the globe in identical 550bhp V8-powered A1GP cars from October through to April.
Hinchcliffe (19), despite his rookie status, proved to be the man to beat in yesterday's official practice where he topped the timesheets for A1 Team Canada. Sampling A1GP's aggregate qualifying system this afternoon for the first time, where each driver has four timed runs with the fastest two laps combined to set the grid order for the Sprint race, James' challenge was to make the most of the three new sets of tires available to him.
Straight out on fresh runner he posted a 1m29.079s on his first run only to go better on his second outing on the same set, this time setting a 1m28.641s. Faster still over his next two runs, both utilizing a fresh set of Cooper's, his aggregate time of 2m56.307s places A1 Team Canada eighth on the grid for tomorrow's 20-minute Sprint race, where points are awarded for the top six nations, before the afternoon's 70-minute Feature race takes place with points awarded through to tenth. Pole today went to A1 Team South Africa with Formula Renault Euro Cup regular Adrian Zaugg behind the wheel.
"I think given it was my first shot at A1GP qualifying things didn't pan out too bad. I'm obviously new to the one-lap format and I struggled a little to get up to speed on my first run and how to get the most from the tire straight away. There's definitely still some more to come from the car and myself but for a first effort in this series a top-eight grid slot's pretty decent. I'm used to rolling starts as that's the norm in North America so I'll be prepared at the start of the Sprint race but the key is to steer clear of trouble so you're in good shape for the Feature race in the afternoon!"