Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda started his home race, the Honda Indy Toronto from sixth place having made it into the Firestone Fast 6 in qualifying on Saturday.
The Mayor of HinchTown avoided the chaos at the first corner between Team Penske’s Will Power and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon.
The Oakville native ran upfront all day and secured his second third place finish in a row in front of his home crowd following on from his third place here last year. Hinch works closely with Make A Wish Canada and had all of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers sign his race suit which will go up for auction with the proceeds going to Make A Wish.
Speaking following his podium finish which has moved him into the top ten in the series points standings. Hinchcliffe commented by saying:
This result is so great for the team. We really struggled on the reds [Firestone alternate tires], and the yellow [flag] just came at the right time but we had the pace at the end there. We were catching Alex (Rossi) and Josef (Newgarden) in that last stint. The car really came alive on the blacks so big thanks to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, all the Arrow Electronics guys – great stops — and all the fans in Toronto. I mean the support that we feel each and every year is amazing. You guys are the best! You came even when the weather wasn’t looking awesome and hung out with us and we appreciate it. So thanks to all of you guys. Next year, maybe a couple of spots better.
Hinch’s new team mate Sebastian Saavedra in the No.7 Lucas Oil Honda started the race from 20th place and ran as high as seventh place and finished the race in 11th. Speaking following the event, the Colombian thanked the team, James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin.
I feel like that is a very successful weekend in the books. I’m very appreciative of the whole Schmidt Peterson Motorsports organization for taking me in and just making me feel like I’m home. I felt the same throughout the race and had a pretty solid car. We kept clean for the first stint, just tried to stay away from trouble, and when I started pushing, the car was there for me. Great strategy from the SPM guys and getting me out of those reds [Firestone alternate tires] and getting me some free time for me to do my thing. It played off perfectly with those yellows, and we managed to get in with the guys up front which changed the speed of the race for us. We had the car to do it. We’re proud of the pit stops, proud of the strategy and of course having a good car makes my life as a driver a lot easier.”