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Firestone Indy Lights: Corning 100

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Corning 100

Firestone Indy Lights: Corning 100

James Hinchcliffe
Sebastian Saavedra
July 4, 2010


THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and get started here with today's podium finishers from the Corning 100. We are joined by James Hinchcliffe who started on the pole and finished second, and Sebastian Saavedra who started fourth and improved to finish third. Just a few notes: Today's podium finish moved James into second place in points, and this is his fifth top-5 finish. For Sebastian Saavedra, this is his fifth top-10 finish.
James it was a close race out there, and you moved up in the points. Can you talk about how close you were with J.K. in the closing laps?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: Obviously we were really close to J.K. I don't think it's unfair to say and everybody would agree that we had the best car out there today. When we were out front, we were pulling away and when we were behind we were all over him, but he just had a couple degrees less wing than us and up that straightaway I just couldn't do anything with it.
It's heart breaking, you know, because I got one run, but he was so quick in his straight line, and I couldn't get up alongside him. For us to have the weekend that we've had, we've led every single session, warm-up, qualified on pole, there was one mistake all weekend, and it was me in turn 1 that got J.K. that run. It's not very often you get a chance to have a race weekend where the car is so good every time our on track, so for us to walk away with anything less than a win is certainly a tough pill to swallow, and I got to thank the guys because they did a great job, and sorry I couldn't hold on to it.
THE MODERATOR: Sebastian, talk about your race today, coming off a strong finish in Iowa.
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA: Very happy. Of course every point counts for the championship. Tough weekend, we were -- this is the first time we came in, but very happy for the complete effort of the crew and tough luck for my teammate, which we were looking good to work together and go to the front, and even though it's good for us, get back into the championship, try to catch these guys.
We had a great car, not enough to be able to pass them, but enough to have a good show, and that's what makes me happy and looking forward for the next round that are looking good for us from Bryan Herta Autosport.

Q. (No microphone.)
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: Like I said it was that mistake in turn 1, after the caution period for the blown engine there was a ton of dust and quick dry right on the breaking line for turn 1 and in the initial restart I made sure I got through safe, but we have "no blocking" rules here, and I didn't want to get anything questionable, so for the second lap I tried to go closer to the traditional racing line and got a little bit on that Kitty Litter and it completely pitched the car sideways destroyed my momentum up the hill and that's what gave J.K. the run.
And I even said under caution I was surprised they didn't sweep the track more during the run I was surprised they let us "go green" with that much dust on the is racing line, but at the end of the day it was there, everybody else had to go through it, and I made the mistake. A little bit frustrating, but if it weren't for that mistake I don't think anybody would have had a chance to get a run on us today.

Q. (Question about going into Toronto with a win under your belt.)
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: Yeah, for sure, going into Toronto would have been incredible with a win under our belt. Yes, we may have moved up in the championship position but at the end of the day we lost ground to the leader. I want to close the gap to the first-place guy. Ao it sucked to lose the win, hurts even more that we lost it to J.K.
But if you want to talk about motivation heading into your home race, I've never been more hungry to win a race now because I just feel like I robbed myself of a win today. So for sure the motivation is super high and we've got two poles on the two street circuits so far this year so we know we have a good car. We've got to go there and keep our head down.

Q. (No microphone.)
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA: I would say I don't know which one is more difficult, because they have a completely different approach, and both races have its own difficulties. I'm more used to driving road courses, and coming to these weekend to the Watkins Glen and such a beautiful track and the closest from my European background, so it's of course a lot of driving in here, but it's very difficult to say which one is easy or not because both are very difficult in their manner.
Iowa was, in a special way, being so bumpy and so short that it made the driving a lot more sharp, than other places. Coming to here is a place where being smooth pace and braking and turning right of course is helping and makes it even bigger in the equation, but it's something that the U.S. driver you want to be getting involved in and of course I want to have more wins on road courses.

Q. Is there a possibility if you had one more lap you would have gotten J.K.?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: The last eight laps we were keeping a fairly similar gap across the line, you know, four-tenths, half a second, something like that, and on the last lap J.K. was trying to make sure he didn't make mistakes and was being a little bit extra cautious, so that sort of gave me a closer run across the line on the final run, but I don't think another lap would have made a difference. He would have driven the same as he did the second to the last lap, so he didn't make any mistakes that I could capitalize on, and he did a great job.
And in terms of straight line, they were running two holes less than us, so once -- so I got a run on him when he made a mistake coming out of one. Once I pulled out, I started going slower compared to him, so it was tough to make that move stick and he raced me hard into the bus stop, and we were both pretty clean, so it's unfortunate because if it hadn't been for that one mistake that I made, I don't think anybody would have touched us today.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks James and Sebastian. We'll see you in Toronto.

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