James Hinchcliffe Drives into Victory History at LB Grand Prix

– Courtesy photo / Paul Cahill


James Hinchcliffe drove his Honda-powered Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry to victory Sunday in the 43rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Hinchcliffe led the final 25 of the race’s 85 laps and finished 1.494 seconds ahead of Sebastien Bourdais, with Josef Newgarden rounding out the top three.

The victory was Hinchcliffe’s career fifth, and his first at Long Beach.  He is the second Canadian driver to win the race, with Paul Tracy a four-time Long Beach victor.

“What a phenomenal result,” Hinchcliffe said in Victory Lane.  “This track has always been good to me and this is the Indy 500 of street racing, so a result like this never comes easy.  Credit to my team for a great win.”

Scott Dixon, winner here in 2015, led the most race laps (32) and finished fourth.  Simon Pagenaud, last year’s Long Beach winner and defending IndyCar series champion, started last in the field after being penalized during qualifying, but drove steadily up through the field to finish fifth.

Series rookie Ed Jones finished a credible sixth, with the top ten rounded out by Carlos Munoz, Spencer Pigot, polesitter Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal.

The 2010 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay, led 28 race laps and was running a strong second to Hinchliffe until mechanical troubles took him out with only five laps to go.

Two-time Long Beach winner Will Power was involved in a first-lap crash with Charlie Kimball and returned to the track, but was never a factor, finishing 13th.

April 11, 2017

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