Newsstand » SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE FINISHED 15TH IN INDY JAPAN
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “On the start, I made a bit of a mistake and got into Turn 1 a little hot and got some understeer and unfortunately forced Helio out in the dirt. I really felt bad about that; it was my fault and it certainly made a long day for him. We managed to stay on track and (Charlie) Kimball got by us. We lost a couple of spots in Turn 1 but settled into a bit of a pace and then halfway through the first stint we started to lose the back end of the car and I was really struggling with rear grip and the lap times started falling off. We had a big line of cars behind us and I did my best to keep them behind me. Jakes got by and then Marco got by right before we pitted and then in the pit stop we unfortunately had a wheel nut pop out of the gun and, because I had been going so slow we had so many people stacked up behind us and it ended up costing us a lot of positions. When we went back on track we were on the primary black tires but we were now down with the guys who were running the alternate tire strategy that started on blacks and were now on red’s (alternates) so we were sitting ducks a little bit because the balance wasn’t great and we were on the slower tires so we fell back a bunch more which made for a very long second stint. On the third stint, the second pit stop was really good and we gained a spot or two. The car was a little bit better, we made some tire pressure adjustments and some wing adjustments which got the car a little more drivable but at the end of the day it was just such a handful. It was very unfortunate that we didn’t capitalize on the strong qualifying performance. We got a little spooked after not feeling too good in the warmup and did a very uncharacteristic thing and made a big change to the car and unfortunately it was the wrong way to go. We dug ourselves our own grave today and its unfortunate when you have days like that.”
FAST FACTS: Earned his highest road/street course start of the season with fifth place in 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 270 points and is only 14 behind Rookie of the Year leader Hildebrand (284) after 14 of 15 events so far this season (did not compete in St. Pete).