Hinchcliffe Takes Podium at Home Race in Toronto; Negrao Earns Second Season Podium in Indy Lights
Topics: Honda Indy Toronto
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
17 July 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, Ontario - July 17, 2016 - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) driver James Hinchcliffe earned a season-best, third-place finish and was the top Honda on the streets of Toronto, just a short drive from his hometown of Oakville, Ontario.
Hinchcliffe started the race in sixth and spent the first half of the 85-lap race battling balance issues with the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car. Strategy is what ultimately lead to the podium finish, as Hinchcliffe's engineers took a chance on fuel. Three full-course yellows in the second half of the race made it possible for the Canadian driver to cross the finish line in front of his fellow Canucks with just enough ethanol in the tank.
"Great end to the day, obviously," said Hinchcliffe. "We finally caught a lucky break in Toronto. We didn't have the best car on blacks, we were really good on reds at the start. Some guys were throwing elbows and there was a bit of bump-and-grinding at the beginning there, but we were able to maintain position. On the blacks, with the track temperature going up, we were really struggling. We pitted and luckily just caught that yellow.
"Like I said, it's the first time I've had a lucky break in this city so we're happy to take it. Huge props to the Arrow Electronics boys in the pits because we made up some spots there and to get the podium here in the hometown... this is awesome. This is one of the coolest days ever."
Teammate Mikhail Aleshin also drove a solid race. He started tenth and made an impressive pass at the start to jump up four spots into sixth place. A timely pit stop also helped the Russian driver, who finished in sixth place.
"The team did an amazing job and that's what allowed me to be in the top six in the SMP Racing car," said Aleshin. "Sixth place is great for the points championship and we're going to aim for even more next time. Thanks to the SMP crew and now we'll focus on Mid-Ohio."
Earlier in the day, the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Series completed their second race of the double-header weekend. Andre Negrao, who completed the second-fastest lap of the first race on Saturday, earning him a second-place starting spot. He was able to hold that position from start to finish on Sunday, and take his second-place spot on the podium for the second time this season.
Teammate Santiago Urrutia started in fifth on Sunday. During a fairly chaotic start to the 45-lap race, the Uruguan driver was shuffled back several spots during the first couple laps. He was able to regain his starting position by lap five and then advanced one more spot to run the majority of the race in fourth. He fought hard for the final podium spot as the finish line neared, but ultimately crossed the line in fourth. The points he gained advanced him to second place in the championship standings.
In two weeks, the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires head to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the eleventh IndyCar race, and fourteenth and fifteenth Indy Lights races, of the 2016 season. IndyCar will headline the weekend with the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, which will take place on Sunday, July 31 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The 200-lap competition will be broadcast live on CNBC and tickets are available online at www.MidOhio.com.
About Schmidt Peterson Motorsports:
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) was established in 2001 and is owned by former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt and Canadian businessman Ric Peterson. Schmidt was paralyzed (quad) in 2000 after an accident during testing at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. SPM fields cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, and the Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires. SPM is the most successful team in Indy Lights Series history with sixty-five race wins and seven championships. In addition, SPM won the coveted Indianapolis 500 pole position in 2011 for the 100th Anniversary and 2016 for the 100th Running, and has won five Verizon IndyCar Series races between 2013 and 2015. For more information, please visit www.SPMindycar.com.
About Conquer Paralysis Now:
Conquer Paralysis Now is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization with a mission to cure paralysis, formerly known as the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. The organization is leading the charge for a cure through funding scientific research, medical treatment and technological advances benefiting those paralyzed by spinal cord injuries, stroke or diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's or in other ways. For more information, visit conquerparalysisnow.org.
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