Hinchcliffe is Victorious at Road America 17 year-old Canadian Rookie Claims First Victory in BMW Career TORONTO, ON. -- (Aug 8, 2004) 17-year old James Hinchcliffe (AIM Autosport / Franczak Enterprises ...
Hinchcliffe is Victorious at Road America
17 year-old Canadian Rookie Claims First Victory in BMW Career
TORONTO, ON. -- (Aug 8, 2004) 17-year old James Hinchcliffe (AIM Autosport / Franczak Enterprises #56) came home from the Road America race circuit this weekend with his first career victory in the Formula BMW USA Championship. Competing in front of the Champ Car fans, Hinchcliffe led every lap as he dominated race two on Sunday afternoon
After performing well in Friday morning's test session, Hinchcliffe focused his attention on qualifying. Looking to start up front and avoid trouble the quick Canadian set down a blistering lap the set him on the provisional pole for round #9. Several competitors took a shot at Hinchcliffe but as soon as another driver got close to his time, the 17-year-old went back on course and improved his time. As the checkered flew on the session, Hinchcliffe had secured his first pole and became the first Canadian driver ever to sit on pole in the FBMW USA Championship series history. Qualifying for round #10 saw the multi-time karting champion secure another front row starting position but this time he would be on the outside as he entered turn one.
As Hinchcliffe led the field to the green for the Saturday afternoon event, he got a good jump on the field and led the opening set of corners. Falling back to second on the opening lap didn't fluster the Canadian as he was with the leader and all over his gearbox in every corner. A slight bobble allowed the third place driver to get a run on Hinchcliffe into Canada Corner where disaster struck. "I tried to go in a little deeper to maintain second," explained Hinchcliffe. "Unfortunately, I got on the brakes too hard and the car slid straight off the track and into the gravel trap. I was stuck there and out of the race. My top five streak is now over but I will look to redeem myself tomorrow."
The Oakville, Ontario resident redeemed himself in a big way in the Sunday afternoon event. Hinchcliffe out gunned the pole sitter as the green flag flew and had the preferred line entering turn one and for the second day in a row, led the field through the first set of opening corners. Not looking to repeat his mistake from the previous day, Hinchcliffe focused on getting through the corners and onto the straight smoothly to open a gap. A caution midway through the race made his AIM Autosport crew nervous but Hinchcliffe was calm, cool and composed as he timed the restart perfectly and went on to take a much deserved victory. "I can't believe it," expressed James after the event. "I have been looking forward to this all season and finally secured a win. I have to thank everyone that has helped get me here. It has been a long time coming but we did it."
After the first 10 rounds in the 14 race championship series, Hinchcliffe sits third in the overall series championship only one point out of second. The talented rookie also leads the BMW Rookie Cup by a commanding 15 points. James' next on-track action will be next weekend for rounds eleven and twelve in Denver, CO. For more information on the Formula BMW USA Championship please visit www.bmw-motorsport.com.