Oakville, Ontario -- February 16, 2005. -- After a long and challenging winter, 18-year-old James Hinchcliffe resigned with the AIM Autosport squad, this year competing in the Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear. The 2004 Formula BMW ...
Oakville, Ontario -- February 16, 2005. -- After a long and challenging winter, 18-year-old James Hinchcliffe resigned with the AIM Autosport squad, this year competing in the Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear. The 2004 Formula BMW Rookie-of-the-year champion will look to make his mark in '05 as the Canadian driver aims for the overall series title.
After finalizing the contract with the AIM squad on February 2nd, Hinchcliffe and his team had to purchase a Pro Formula Mazda and head south for a February 13 and 14th test at Road Atlanta. Having never seen the car before and taking delivery at the track a day before the test, the AIM squad immediately went to work prepping the car and getting it ready for the two day stint.
Sunday morning greeted the team with rain showers and forced Hinchcliffe to make his first on track session on a wet race course. A brief break in the action allowed the racing surface to dry as the three time BMW race winner Hinchcliffe and many of his fellow Mazda competitors were able to turn some dry laps in the afternoon. As the Sunday test came to a close, Hinchcliffe was very quick compared to other competitor's times.
Monday also greeted the test day participants with rain as it lasted through out the day. Hinchcliffe showed his driving abilities as he circuited the race course with out any problems and once again faired well in difficult conditions to set very competitive times.
"These cars are definetly a step up for me" explained the Oakville, Ontario resident. "We had a very successful two days and we are all looking forward to the Sebring season opener in mid March."
Though Hinchcliffe will not have a chance to complete another test before the start of the season, he is very optimistic about '05. "I learned a lot last year and will learn even more this year. There are a lot of good drivers in this series but I believe that AIM is one of the best teams in North America and I am sure that you will see us at the front of the pack."
The AIM squad will now head back to their Ontario based shop and complete the pre season car preparation and get Hinchcliffe comfortable in his new ride.