|Hinchcliffe shares a laugh with Josef Newgarden in Long Beach|
credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens
James Hinchcliffe continues to improve each race weekend, this time finishing eighth at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in California. The race was won by Simon Pagenaud, who bested 2015 winner Scott Dixon, while pole sitter Helio Castroneves finished third.
Ontario native Hinchcliffe battled Will Power for much of the race, and later expressed his disappointment that the race – 80 laps on a just-under two-mile course – wasn’t longer. “It was barely a two-stopper and we need a genuine three-stopper so we can go racing,” said Hinchcliffe, who qualified seventh. “We seriously need to look at the length of the races.”
“It’s been a bittersweet day really,” he continued. “It was nice to come away with a top-10 and we had a good first stint, stayed out of trouble and kept up with the guys in front of us. On the first pit sequence, we sort of got bad timing and just as we had finished our stop and were about to be released, we had to hold for a bit because (Carlos) Munoz was entering his box. This ultimately cost us getting out and Takuma Sato was able to jump us in the stops and that really what differentiated us; he had that little bit better track position, stayed in front of the guys in the next round of stops and came away with a top-5. I think we had his pace, definitely had more pace than the guys ahead of us right at the end, we just didn’t have the opportunity to get around them.”
The next race for the Verizon IndyCar Series is the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham next weekend, April 22-24. Keep up with the action at www.indycar.com, and follow Hinchcliffe at www.hinchtown.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by Torchia Communications.