'Hinch' Steers to Second at Mid-Ohio Toronto, Canada (August 11, 2009) -- Canada's James Hinchcliffe edged closer to scoring his first-ever Firestone Indy Lights Series race victory courtesy of a second place finish in Round 12, his fifth ...
'Hinch' Steers to Second at Mid-Ohio
Toronto, Canada (August 11, 2009) -- Canada's James Hinchcliffe edged closer to scoring his first-ever Firestone Indy Lights Series race victory courtesy of a second place finish in Round 12, his fifth podium of the season, on Sunday 9th August at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Kentucky.
After wracking up four third-place podiums, the 22-year-old Toronto-born racer collected his first runner-up finish of the year at the 2.4-mile permanent road-course. The rookie, who took the checkered behind Australia's James Davison on Sunday, solidified his top-five points standing, with the gap between the aforementioned Davison in third and Hinchcliffe in fifth now a mere eight points with three rounds remaining.
'Hinch' claimed a front-row start for the 40-lap race but was beaten to his first series pole by Davison. It was the Canadian though who held P1 for the majority of Saturday's qualifying session piloting the #7 HinchTown.Com Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry. Bad luck due to the timing of a late-session yellow flag thwarted James' final crack at securing the pole leaving him second to his Australian rival in the Vision Racing car.
Sunday's race would see the lead duo locked in battle with Hinchcliffe hounding Davison throughout the first half of the race. Mid-Ohio's fast, flowing layout left little room for overtaking, not least with the front-running cars so evenly matched. James was left to try and pressure his namesake into a mistake to take the lead but such an opportunity failed to materialize.
With a slight gap opening up between them at the front of the field in the second half of what was ultimately a somewhat processional race, Davison duly claimed his first victory of the season with Hinchcliffe second and series points leader, J.R. Hildebrand, rounding out the podium.
"Well we certainly had a good car for both qualifying and the race but we just couldn't find a way to get the lead," stated Hinchcliffe. "That said I'm pretty pleased to break my run of third-placed podiums but I'm not going to be happy until I reach the top step this season. It's pretty close in the points, really from second to fifth, so there's still lots to play for heading into the home stretch of the season. We have a great road-course car so I'm looking forward to our next run in California."
Round 13 of the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights Series shifts to the west coast and the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, Friday 21st -- Sunday 23rd August.