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Press Releases » A much better weekend: the Mayor is eighth at Long Beach

A much better weekend: the Mayor is eighth at Long Beach

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04CJ3317A

Pagenaud outduels Dixon for the win

Long Beach, California, April 17, 2016 — Since his return from his season-ending injury in 2015, James Hinchcliffe has been moving steadily up the ladder and this weekend’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach was no different as he finished eighth. Simon Pagenaud outduelled 2015 winner Scott Dixon for his first Long Beach win and fifth IndyCar victory overall, while pole sitter Helio Castroneves finished third.

Hinch spent most of the race trying to overtake Will Power as the two battled lap after lap. He expressed his disappointment at race’s end that the race wasn’t longer, a post-race opinion shared by many of the drivers, who complained that passing was almost non-existent on the road track, as well.

“It was barely a two-stopper and we need a genuine three-stopper so we can go racing. We seriously need to look at the length of the races.”

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is 80 laps over the 1.968-mile, 12-turn circuit encircling the Long Beach Convention Center and running down scenic Shoreline Drive. It offers some overtaking opportunities, including a hairpin turn just before the front stretch, although overtaking was at a premium in this race. Sunday’s race set a record: the first where the average speed was over 100 mph.

“It’s been a bittersweet day really. It was nice to come away with a top-10 and we had a good first stint, stayed out of trouble and kept up with the guys in front of us. On the first pit sequence, we sort of got bad timing and just as we had finished our stop and were about to be released, we had to hold for a bit because Munoz was entering his box. This ultimately cost us getting out and Takuma Sato was able to jump us in the stops and that really what differentiated us; he had that little bit better track position, stayed in front of the guys in the next round of stops and came away with a top-5. I think we had his pace, definitely had more pace than the guys ahead of us right at the end, we just didn’t have the opportunity to get around them.”

“When there are no cautions like this, it takes strategies out of the mix and unfortunately it becomes a bit of a fuel-saving race, which is never fun for us and not the best show for the fans. But we brought the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car home, we were quick all weekend and hopefully we can take this momentum into Barber (Motorsports Park) next week.”

The weekend started on a positive note, however, Hinch said. “We rolled off the truck with a good car on Friday and I’m really proud of the Arrow Electronics guys for the prep that they did because the car was a rocket from the get-go.” The Mayor and his crew tried to make the legendary Firestone Fast Six in qualifying and just missed, ending up in seventh. “We’re starting on the inside, which is great. This is such a turnaround from Phoenix two weeks ago.”

Another encouraging sign: the Mayor ran the fourth fastest time in practice at 1:07.6426 on his 17th lap, behind only Graham Rahal, Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya.

Full race results are available on IndyCar.com.

The next race on the Verizon IndyCar schedule is the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama in Birmingham next weekend.

For more information on James Hinchcliffe, please visit www.hinchtown.com, like him on Facebook and follow @Hinchtown on Twitter and Instagram.

Once more this weekend the Hinchtown HandMeDown scavenger hunt, which is held in collaboration with IndyCar, awarded a race goer earlier today with a merchandize gift from the Indycar Merchandise Tent. This social media scavenger hunt sees an exclusive “Coin” for each race (photo attached) hidden around the track on race day. Photo clues of the location are presented on James Hinchcliffe’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter account. The finder of the Coin Drop can then take their coin to the Indycar Merchandise Tent where they are presented with a prize pack! Shanelle Muniz @IndycarHelloKT did just that today and shared it on her social platforms.

For more information, please contact:

Raluca Melniciuc                                                  Paul Vaillancourt III
Torchia Communications                                   Torchia Communications
raluca@torchicom.com                                       paul@torchiacom.com
Tel.:   647-638-3106 cell.                                    Tel.: 514-996-6224 cell.

Cut line for attached photos:
James Hinchcliffe apexes Turn 10 during practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach — Photo by: Chris Jones 

Shanelle Muniz, winner of the Hinchtown Handmedown scavenger hunt in Long Beach with his IndyCar merchandise prize.      —  Photo credit: Hinchtown

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