The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series came to a close at the GoPro Grand Prix in Sonoma, CA, this weekend and saw Canadian driver, James Hinchcliffe, gaining a respectable eight places to finish in 12th.
Having started the race in 20th after a difficult qualifying session, the brand ambassador for Petro-Canada Lubricants pulled out all the stops for the final race of the season, gaining five places in the first lap alone.
He continued to move up the grid as the race progressed and made it inside the top-10 before making his first pit stop. Supported by a fast and flawless pit crew, Hinchcliffe emerged in the mid-field and maintained position all the way to the chequered flag. The result means the Canadian driver finished 13th in the overall championship standings for 2016.
"From starting in 20th, I think crossing the line in 12th was a reasonable gain and the team can be proud of that", said Hinchcliffe. "The Arrow Electronics car was competitive in the race and the crew did a fantastic job in the pits. It’s been a great season overall and we aim to be back stronger than ever next year.
"A special thank you to all of my supporters, particularly Petro-Canada Lubricants. It’s been a great experience to represent a company that I’ve grown up with my whole life and I’m proud to wear the Petro-Canada logo on my firesuit. I’ve enjoyed meeting many partners of the program, and based on some reactions, I think they have had a great time too. Hopefully we get to do this all over again in 2017!"
Howard McIntyre, vice president, lubricants: "2016 was a great year for James and he really stamped his mark on the season. Our partnership with James has been all about demonstrating great efficiency and gaining the competitive edge. Throughout every race, his talent and determination really shone through and his drive to continually improve makes him a great ambassador for Petro-Canada Lubricants."
The Verizon IndyCar Series returns in 2017 with the season-opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida on March 12.