James Hinchcliffe will return to race duties for Team Canada at this weekend's sixth A1 Grand Prix round in New Zealand, as the squad hopes to take advantage of the extra track time available to him.

Having led Canada's charge in the opening three rounds of the competition, the 20-year old rookie had to watch as team-mate Sean McIntosh piloted the Canadian entry in rounds four and five in Malaysia and Indonesia. However, with Hinchcliffe still eligible to compete in Friday morning's hour-long rookie-only session, Team Canada hopes that the extra track time will aid the learning process at the 13-turn, anti-clockwise Taupo layout an unknown quantity to everyone.

"I'm thrilled to be back racing the Canadian entry, and can't wait to get going again at Taupo," Hinchcliffe admitted, "This is the last time I'll be eligible to run in the Friday morning rookie session as, after that, I'll have racked up more than six race starts but, as it's a new circuit, the extra track time will hopefully allow us to get ahead of the game, not least with the continuity of me staying in the car for the duration of the weekend."

Sitting eighth overall in the standings as the twelve-round series reaches its halfway point in New Zealand, Hinchcliffe is keen to bolster the Canadian team's effort. With a sprint race podium to his credit from round two in the Czech Republic, his performances have earmarked him as one of the leading rookies, but he's well aware that other teams are showing more form heading to Taupo.

"The home team might be starting as favourites given that they won both races last time out in Indonesia," he noted, "but I'm confident we'll continue to challenge at the sharp end of the grid and, hopefully, get that first win."

 

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