1 July 2009
Q&A: James Hinchcliffe (Indy Lights)
After Watkins, both the Indy Lights and IndyCar Series head to Toronto – your hometown. What can fans expect from the new-look show?
I think that fans can expect the best IndyCar race Toronto has ever seen. With AGR now running the show, you have a very qualified group of people, who have successfully run events before, [as well as] new sponsors, a new look. It's going to be awesome. And I think that, having lost the race last year, the fans will be really eager to come about and take it all in again. Like the saying goes, you don't know what you have 'til it's gone, and now people will want to make it to the race because they can't just take for granted that it will be there forever!
You've raced around the world – truth time, how do the home fans in Canada stack up against the competition?
I've maintained for years that Canadians are the best fans in open-wheel - we just love our motorsports and love supporting Canadian drivers and events. Having said that, those Dutch fans certainly give us a run for our money, I'm not going to lie. They win the category of most face paint worn by race fans, that's for sure, but I still think Canadian fans drink more beer. And that is saying something when comparing to the Dutch!
Would you trade your earlier podiums and top-five points standing for a race win in Toronto?
Wow, there's a question. It would have to be a no, simply because my number one goal is the championship, and to win that you cannot give up podiums. For sure, I want to win many races along the way. If you were to ask me what is the one race this year I would want to win more than any other? The answer is simple. Toronto. No question.
Looking ahead now that we're coming up for halfway through the season, how would you score yourself and what's still to come from James Hinchcliffe?
I would probably have to give myself an eight out of ten. I feel like we have done a solid job, but should have got a little more out of races like St Pete race one, Long Beach and Milwaukee. Kansas and Indy were sort of out of our hands - the pace was there, the luck was not, but that's the way it goes. I believe we have the pace to win, it is just getting that last little bit to click, which for sure is the hardest part. What's still to come? Well, there is the good news. The best is still to come.
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