Third at Toronto Indy

Third-place fin­ish at Honda Indy Toronto is first time atop podium at home­town race

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - DHIREN MAHIBAN

Oakville’s James Hinch­cliffe earns best re­sult yet on his home track

TORONTO — James Hinch­cliffe had been wait­ing to catch a break on home soil for years. Sun­day, it fi­nally hap­pened. The Oakville na­tive se­cured his first podium ap­pear­ance at the Honda Indy Toronto, fin­ish­ing third — be­hind win­ner Will Power and run­ner-up He­lio Cas­tron­eves — thanks in large part to a cau­tion on the 81st lap.

“It’s not just that I haven’t had great luck here, it’s that I’ve had in­sanely bad luck here,” he said. “To­day, fi­nally, we were on the other side of that . ... We were able to make it stick on that last restart and fi­nally get a strong re­sult.”

De­bris in Turn 5 caused a Lap 45 cau­tion, al­low­ing Hinch­cliffe to make his sec­ond pit stop on Lap 47. Then af­ter a Lap 59 cau­tion, Hinch­cliffe, who started sixth, found him­self in third when the race re­turned to full course green at Lap 63. Jack Hawksworth hit the tires to cause the Lap 81 cau­tion, which Hinch­cliffe needed in or­der to con­serve fuel and main­tain his third-place po­si­tion.

Sun­day was Hinch­cliffe’s sev­enth start in Toronto and 10th podium fin­ish over­all. He missed last year’s event in Toronto due to his near fa­tal ac­ci­dent on May 18, 2015 in In­di­anapo­lis.

Hinch­cliffe, who picked up 35 points in the se­ries stand­ings, be­came See com­plete story on Indy race win­ner Will Power and the over­all results, S6

the first Cana­dian to fin­ish on the podium since Paul Tracy placed sec­ond in 2006.

“I got a lit­tle ex­tra boost see­ing the crowd stand up in Turn 11 and I knew all my fam­ily and ex­tended fam­ily and friends were sit­ting on that grand­stand,” he said.

“Com­ing around Turn 11 on that restart, I saw the whole grand­stand stand up and cheer and I thought, ‘I can’t screw this up, I can’t let these guys down’ and luck­ily we were able to hold it off.”

It was the 29-year-old’s sec­ond podium of the sea­son. He also fin­ished third at the Grand Prix of In­di­anapo­lis.

CHRIS YOUNG, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Oakville’s James Hinch­cliffe sprays cham­pagne as he celebrates his third-place fin­ish in the Honda Indy Toronto on Sun­day.

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