TORONTO – The “Mayor of Hinchtown” will fly the flag for both his home country, Canada, and his manufacturer, Honda, from sixth place on the grid in Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto (2:30 p.m. ET, CNBC).
James Hinchcliffe wasn’t thrilled with sixth – understandably he’d want a higher position than that – but nonetheless, the lone Canadian in the Verizon IndyCar Series field and the driver of the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda is the best Honda on the grid and has his best start in Toronto this weekend.
This will be Hinchcliffe’s seventh start in Toronto and his best prior start had been eighth on the grid.
He had felt he’d been held up by Sebastien Bourdais in the Firestone Fast Six session. While not mad at Bourdais directly, Hinchcliffe was not pleased with the KVSH Racing team.
“I’m not upset with Sebastien, he’s just doing what he was told. I’m upset at KV. We have a two-mile racetrack and they send him out two seconds in front of me,” Hinchcliffe told NBCSN.
“He only did one lap. He literally had a 30 second buffer and they sent him out in from of me. It’s unnecessary. It’s too short of a season to play games like that. We’ll get ’em back at some point. IndyCar of course isn’t going to do anything about it.
“It’s not going to dampen our day. We’re really thrilled to be in the Fast Six after two weeks in a row shotgun in the field, it’s nice to be back up.”
He’ll look to finish better than eighth, which is his best race finish in his home race.
Teammate Mikhail Aleshin also has a top-10 start, in 10th in the No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda. Both drivers finished in the top-10 a week ago in Iowa.