TORONTO, Ontario — Racing in front of the hometown crowd at the Honda Indy Toronto, James Hinchcliffe was hoping to put together a good performance for the fans in attendance. To be on the podium on Sunday, he will have his work cut out for him after qualifying 14th.
Being able to find pace in qualifying is something the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team has struggled with throughout the year, as cited by Hinchcliffe on Thursday.
“We’ve had some good qualifying efforts, and then some not so good ones. We need to be a bit more consistently fast on Saturday,” he told POPULAR OPEN WHEEL.
Out of the 11 races this season, Hinchcliffe has qualified in the top-10 on five occasions, but has only been part of the Firestone Fast Six on two occasions. The inability to start closer to the front has been one of the factors hurting his results thus far.
“The season has been really tough,” he admitted. “We’ve had some quick racecars. We’ve had some qualifying sessions where we maybe could’ve found more pace, but race day we’ve been quite quick. We’ve just had weird things out of our control take us out of races, like in Detroit, Barber, or the Indy GP. So we’ve been running up front in races, but just had bad luck.
“Everything that we can control we’re doing good, so we just need to keep doing that.”
Sitting ninth in the standings entering the weekend, he had only scored five top-10’s with a best finish of sixth on two occasions for 2019. A podium like two years ago, or a repeat of the fourth from 2018 would go a long way in creating some momentum for Hinchcliffe entering the second half of 2019.
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