Hinchcliffe a quick learner

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

James Hinchcliffe said he learned a couple of lessons on Friday in his first visit to his home town track as an IZOD IndyCar driver.

The first was that any notion of getting a swelled head was put to rest real fast.

Hinchcliffe, a native of Oakville, had been relishing the shouts of encouragement from fans as he walked to get into his No. 06 Newman Haas Sprott Dallara Honda.

“But I found out I am still the new kid on he block,” he said. “I was walking out to the car for practice and people were saying: “Hey Hinch” and then PT (Paul Tracy) drove by on his scooter and the entire line of people erupted in cheers for him.

“So I found out real quick where I stand.”

The other lesson for the 24-year-old IndyCar rookie was that the more powerful, much faster cars in the top open-wheel series in North America are a handful on Toronto’s temporary street course.

“I learned an awful lot today that I didn’t know before,” he said. “This place is so demanding, so challenging in so many ways. All of those little challenges just get magnified the faster the cars is.”

In the end, Hinchcliffe proved to be a fast learner as he posted the fourth fastest lap of the day at one minute, 1.005 seconds, but he kept his perspective.

“It is incredibly difficult to get around here without hitting anything,” he said. “I can only imagine how it is going to feel having the whole field out there.”


Videos

Photos