Canada’s James Hinchcliffe has been given the honor of driving the Pace Car for the Champ Car World Series finale taking place this weekend at the ‘34th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach’, in California, Friday 18th – Sunday 20th April.
The 21-year-old Toronto-resident, who will also compete in Long Beach in the opening round of the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, has been selected to drive Champ Car’s Mazda RX8 Pace Car as the series makes its final outing following the unification with the Indy Racing League earlier this year.
With a field of 20 cars expected for Sunday’s sprint around the illustrious 1.968-mile temporary street circuit, Hinchcliffe is relishing his surprise duty in addition to his Atlantic commitments racing the #3 INDECK Swift Mazda-Cosworth for Forsythe Pettit Racing on Sunday morning.
“I’m incredibly honored that Champ Car have asked me to drive,” said Hinchcliffe. “It’s especially significant given this is the last ever Champ Car World Series event. Deep down I’m a little gutted that it’s the end of the road because I always wanted to race in Champ Car. At least now though I can say that I participated in the final race – I’m just driving the wrong machine! I’m excited to drive the Mazda RX8 though, I’m sure I’ll have a good time managing my new responsibilities. I guess secretly I’m hoping that there are a few yellows during the race so I get a little bit of action on Sunday afternoon!”
‘Hinch’ is no stranger to the streets of Long Beach with Sunday morning’s Atlantic race marking his third career start at the Pacific track. Making his Atlantic debut there in 2006, also with Forsythe Pettit Racing, the Canadian racer kicked off his rookie season with a third place podium finish.
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