Hinch Set for Hometown Happening Toronto, Canada (July 09, 2009) -- They say there's no place like home and James Hinchcliffe wouldn't disagree with the famed statement. This weekend sees the 22-year-old return to the streets of his...
Hinch Set for Hometown Happening
Toronto, Canada (July 09, 2009) -- They say there's no place like home and James Hinchcliffe wouldn't disagree with the famed statement. This weekend sees the 22-year-old return to the streets of his hometown, Toronto, for the ninth round of the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights Series, Friday 10th -- Saturday 11th July.
Saturday's 'Toronto 100' sees the Sam Schmidt Motorsports racer back in action around the 2.82km temporary street circuit based at Exhibition Place. 'Hinch' boasts two previous starts in Toronto, both of which came during his stint in the Atlantic Championship -- the Canadian enjoying mixed fortunes, qualifying in the top-ten on both occasions, finishing sixth overall in 2006 and classified 11th in 2007 after contact from behind sidelined the local favorite.
With three podium finishes to his credit in his rookie Indy Lights season, James is looking to put last weekend's early exit at Watkins Glen firmly behind him. A maiden victory behind the wheel of the #7 HinchTown.Com Dallara-Firestone, on home soil, is the goal for the weekend, Hinchcliffe confident the home support can help bolster his cause in what's shaping up to be a closely fought Indy Lights battle.
"I'm obviously super excited to come back to Toronto to compete," stated James. "I really missed not racing here last season and I think this year's event is set to be one of the best yet. We've had a great street course car since the start of the season collecting podiums in St. Petersburg and Long Beach and if anything I think we've only made it better since then! Knowing my way around the track certainly isn't going to hurt but we've got plenty of practice so I don't think it'll be too much of an advantage over the others.
"Toronto's always a cool event and I've been to every race there since I was 18-months old! Canadian race fans are second to none, they love their motorsport and they always get behind the hometown drivers. There's no extra pressure despite having more family and friends there, I want to win everywhere and nobody puts more pressure on me to win races than me. I'm looking forward to Saturday!"
If James can succeed in winning an Indy Lights race in Toronto he'll be in good company. The only two Canadian drivers to have triumphed there previously in the series are Paul Tracy (1990) and Greg Moore (1995) -- both racers graduating to the top-flight, and further success, proudly sporting the maple leaf flag.
The 'Toronto 100' gets underway on Saturday 11th July at 12:30pm EST followed on Sunday 12th July by the 'Honda Indy Toronto' IndyCar Series race at 1pm EST.
Top-6 Indy Lights Drivers -- R8/15: 1st Hildebrand (USA) 279pts, 2nd Romancini (BRA) 221pts, 3rd Cunningham (NZ) 216pts, 4th Saavedra (COL) 215pts, 5th Davison (AUS) 206pts, 6th HINCHCLIFFE (CAN) 200pts - www.indycar.com/indylights