HINCHCLIFFE KEEPS LATE SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP CHARGE ALIVE "Strong second place results for young Canadian" Oakville, Ontario -- August 2, 2005. -- 18-year-old open wheel star James Hinchcliffe (Noco Racing , Mobile 1, Pit Fit Training, ...
HINCHCLIFFE KEEPS LATE SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP CHARGE ALIVE
"Strong second place results for young Canadian"
Oakville, Ontario -- August 2, 2005. -- 18-year-old open wheel star James Hinchcliffe (Noco Racing , Mobile 1, Pit Fit Training, AIM Autosport #98), had a strong event this past weekend at the Star Mazda series presented by Goodyear at the Portland International Raceway in Portland, OR. The young Canadian would come home in the second position to close ground on the leader and keep his late season championship charge alive.
Hinchcliffe was fast all weekend long in his #98 AIM Autosport entry as he was near the top of the time charts in every practice session. Heading to qualifying, Hinchcliffe knew that he had a realistic shot at the pole but came up just short and would start the event from outside the front row.
The start of the event would cause some controversy as the pole sitter pulled off the track to serve a penalty before the race began leaving Hinchcliffe on the front row by himself. The Oakville, ON resident managed to get the jump and lead the field into corner one.
"It was kind of weird starting on the front row by yourself" explained Hinchcliffe. "Usually you try to pace yourself with the guy beside you but when he is not there your reaction is to slow down. I managed to get it right and lead the field into the first corner."
Hinchcliffe led the majority of the event but cautions would ruin any chances of a runaway victory. Though disappointed about the second place finish, Hinchcliffe was satisfied with the podium result. "I feel like we had the fastest car out there today but the caution periods hurt us," He would explain. "Each time I was able to open up a gap but on the final restart Graham (Rahal) made a great move when I thought I had protected the corner and was able to get through. We raced each other pretty hard into the chicane, and we both went too deep but we managed to make it through without any contact. It has been an interesting few races in that a few weeks ago I was thrilled to just be on the podium but now I'm crushed that we didn't win because everyone at the team has worked so hard."
Courtesy of his win and 3rd place result in Sonoma two weeks ago and his podium result this weekend, Hinchcliffe sits 3rd in the overall series championship and will look to gain more points in the series championship at the next event. The Canadian driver also sits 2nd in the Rookie-of-the-Year honors as the point race tightens up.
Hinchcliffe's next on track activity will be August 20th as the he and his AIM Autosport squad will head to the famed Road America race course in hopes for his second victory of the season.