James Hinchcliffe caused a stir in pre-season testing for the A1 Grand Prix Series at Silverstone when he emerged with the fastest time in the afternoon session and the third best time of the day for Team Canada.

Only his second time in the car and his first visit to Silverstone, Champ Car Atlantic driver Hinchcliffe wasted no time in impressing his prospective employers with a time just two tenths off the best of the day.

Taking over in the afternoon from one of the inaugural season's stars, Sean McIntosh, 19-year-old Hinchcliffe's strong time was attributed to putting a new set of tyres on his car, but he was nonetheless the day's leading rookie, outpacing Atlantic's rival Graham Rahal in the Lebanon entry in the process.

Naturally, Hinchcliffe, who claimed his first Atlantics pole position in Montreal just last weekend, was delighted to have emerged as one of the day's front runners, particularly as he remains an A1 GP novice.

"Sean put down a good baseline this morning and this afternoon I started off on an older set of tires to see if we could work on set-up based on the end of a race. We were pretty happy with the progress made so decided to slap on a new set of tires to see what we could do. That run went well, we made some changes and went faster again.

"Towards the end we decided to run another new set and I found a space on the track and put in the quickest time. Everyone's happy with the outcome of the day, not least myself as it was my first day at the track and only my second time in an A1GP car!"

World Series by Renault driver McIntosh was also pleased to be back in the car, although he admitted that his lack of new tyres did harm his best times.

"I had a few good runs over the course of the morning but new tires definitely make the difference. It was great to be back working with the team and ultimately we were on the pace throughout the day which bodes well with the new season rapidly approaching. I'm looking forward to some more running tomorrow and continuing to work through our pre-season test program."

 

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