Hinchcliffe Reunites With Forsythe The Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda paddock will once again be headquarters for the “Mayor of Hinchtown” in 2008 as popular Canadian racer James Hinchcliffe has rejoined Forsythe Championship Racing for an all-out assault on the series title.
The 21-year-old native of Toronto returns to the same operation with which he competed in his rookie Atlantic season in 2006. That season produced Hinchcliffe’s lone Atlantic victory to date at Portland, a pole position at Montreal and a total of three podium results, placing him 10th in the championship as part of a four-car operation. Last season, Hinchcliffe competed with Sierra Sierra Enterprises, improving greatly from his rookie campaign with three pole positions and five podiums en route to fourth in the championship.
“I'm obviously really excited to be back with Forsythe Championship Racing,” Hinchcliffe said. “When I joined the team in 2006, we always said it would be a two year plan. It has just taken us three years to pull it off! I improved a lot in 2007 with Sierra Sierra Enterprises, and I know that they will be super competitive this season so I am really looking forward to the challenge of fighting with them for the championship. To be back on Forsythe is awesome, the atmosphere is so great and I have already enjoyed working with the team and David on making us as competitive as possible.”
For the 2008 Champ Car Atlantic Championship, Hinchcliffe will be teamed with Mexican rising star David Garza as part of a two-car Atlantic entry for Forsythe Championship Racing. The team is the most successful program currently competing in Atlantic with a total of 27 victories, 27 pole positions and the 1998 series championship with Canadian driver Lee Bentham.
“We are obviously very pleased to have James returning to Forsythe Championship Racing,” said FCR Atlantic team manager John Brunner. “We had success together in 2006 and with his growth as a driver and ours as a team, we feel that we are now ready to make a serious run at the 2008 championship.”
In addition to competing in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship, Hinchcliffe also has provided color commentary for the international broadcast of Champ Car World Series events alongside play-by-play announcer Jeremy Shaw. He also has driven in A1 Grand Prix events for Team Canada in each of the past two years. After beginning his racing career in karting events, Hinchcliffe shifted to race cars in 2003 when he contested the Bridgestone Racing Academy F2000 series in his native Canada. He earned Rookie of the Year honors in the 2004 Formula BMW USA championship before graduating to the Star Mazda Championship in 2005. Hinchcliffe also has a popular web site located at www.hinchtown.com.
Next up for the Champ Car Atlantic Championship is the first of three open test sessions to be held prior to the start of the 35th Anniversary season of Atlantic at Long Beach on April 20. The first open test of 2008 will be held at the famed Sebring International Raceway circuit in Central Florida. Atlantic cars will take to the 1.669-mile “short course” on February 5-6.