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PROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE THIRD FAST IN PRACTICE FOR THE INDY JAPAN

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James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Now I can justify to my girlfriend why I was in the basement on Playstation 3 for three days (playing the Motegi course on Gran Turismo).  The track is quite cool.  You can tell that everything was laid out well here.  The place is immaculate and it’s the smoothest place we run on all year.  The layout is cool with some technical sections and great braking zones.  The track is very slippery though.  It felt like an out lap every lap because it’s so slippery.  The big challenge will be to predict what will happen tomorrow.  Since there are no support series here with us, the track won’t come up to grip as quick as a normal weekend.  This weekend will be about hard work and trying to stay ahead of everything.  (On jetlag:)  Yesterday was pretty rough. I had to force myself to stay up to 9 p.m. but then I managed to sleep 11 hours straight and I feel right as rain.”

FAST FACTS: This will be his first race at Twin Ring Motegi and in Japan in general…Toronto native Hinchcliffe, 24, finished second in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season standings after three wins and four poles.  In total he earned eight podium finishes in 13 races… His highest road/street course start of the season is seventh at Mid-Ohio and highest road/street finish of fourth at Long Beach.  Is ranked 16th with a total of 255 points and is only three behind Rookie of the Year leader Hildebrand (258) after 13 of 14 events so far this season (did not compete in St. Pete).

1 WIN, 3 PODIUMS IN 7 MOTEGI EVENTS FOR NHR: In total the team has earned 1 WIN (Mi. Andretti 2000), and 3 PODIUMS (3rd- Rahal 2009, Fittipaldi 1999) here – all on the oval.  The team was a contender for the win other times (chart available).