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Relentless Hinchcliffe Pulls Off Brazil IndyCar Victory
Posted by: BGerhart on May 05, 2013 - 05:59 PM
Feature Articles
Relentless Hinchcliffe Pulls Off Brazil IndyCar Victory

By Brad Gerhart

Red gloves still rule.

Just as much as James rules as the Mayor of Hinchtown.

The same color of gloves that his childhood hero wore (the late Greg Moore) could be seen fist pumping from the cockpit of the No.27 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet of James Hinchcliffe after he crossed the finish line in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Moore just so happened to be the last Canadian to also win in Brazil (Rio, May 10, 1998).

It took 75 laps, nearly all of the 190 miles and on the 11th and final turn, Hinchcliffe darted to the inside of Takuma Sato to take the lead.

Sato, the first Japanese driver to win in the IndyCar series looked to become the first driver to win his first two races in back-to-back fashion since A.J. Allmendinger accomplished the feat back in 2006 while a member of Forsythe Championship Racing of the Champ Car World Series.

However, Hinchcliffe spoiled the party for Sato with a sensational inside move when Sato went a little too deep into the tight corner. "Out broke himself," Hinchcliffe said during his post-race interview on NBC Sports television. Sato himself told the television crew he had a "slight issue with the brakes, really had to hold on." The tires on the No.14 A.J.Foyt Racing Honda were pretty worn out as well, since Sato last pitted on lap 37 while in the lead.


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With both Hinchcliffe and previously Josef Newgarden in his rear view mirrors on multiple occasions it looked as though Sato change his racing line to prohibit his competitors from a legit passing attempt. Upon replay those in the television booth thought a penalty seemed justified, although race control and Beau Barfield reviewed both incidents, no further action took place.

Thankful and relieved of his second career win Hinchcliffe could not think of a better way to win a race. “No cooler way to win a race, last corner, last lap,” he said. “It all came together, the GoDaddy car had it in it.” Ironically enough the last driver to win an IndyCar event with only leading the final lap, the late Dan Wheldon during his 2011 Indy 500 victory after rookie J.R. Hildebrand crashed on the final two turns.

Hinchcliffe started on the third row, in fifth, ran poorly in the morning warm-up, but climbed his way all the way up to third with nine to go after a nice outside pass on Simon Pagenaud. At the time Newgarden looked destined to get his first victory with the amount of pressure he applied to Sato. Eventually the front two’s time increased enough for Hinchcliffe to pick-off the young American and finally Sato, just in the nick of time.

In four races Hinchcliffe finished two and has won them both (season opener at St. Petersburg), the other two he experienced technical issues and did not finish. He fell to 10th in the points championship, only to rebound with the Sao Paulo victory to move him up to fourth, 24 points behind Sato and 11 behind Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti who sits second after his podium third.

Now, the first stint of simply road and street races of the season has come and go and the series focus heads to four straight ovals, upon completion of Detroit‘s two street race June events (June 1st and Second), including the first at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the three week long journey of May to the Indy 500 (May 26).

Brad Gerhart

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