Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda made it into the Firestone Fast 6 competition for the first time at his home event on the streets of Toronto.
The Oakville native will start Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto from sixth place and was the fastest Honda powered car on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking to Paddock Eye the Mayor of HinchTown confirmed that he had a problem with the car during the qualifying session but is hopeful that the issue will be sorted overnight to allow him to challenge for victory.
Hinch also said that he was happy to be starting inside the top ten as it means he will be in a position to avoid any potential first corner incident on the opening lap of the race.
In his post qualifying release he stated:
I’m really pleased with the result today. We got back into the Fast Six after two weeks of shot-gunning the field. It’s kind of nice to be back at the sharp end of the grid. The Arrow Electronics guys did a great job. It’s such a tough track out here with the conditions, the surface changes, the bumps obviously, but they did what they had to do and gave me a car that could get up there. I’m proud of all of them and hopefully the best starting spot I’ve ever had here turns into the best finish I’ve ever had here.
Hinchcliffe’s team mate Mikhail Aleshin in the No.7 SMP Racing Honda did a great job giving Schmidt Peterson Motorsports two cars in the top ten as the Russian will start the race from 10th place and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
I think the SMP Racing crew did a good job with this session. Tenth place in qualifying isn’t the best position but it’s not the worst either. We know what we need to work on for tomorrow’s race, and the race is what really matters. We have 85 laps to move forward and that’s a long way, so we’re fine.