Rookie Orientation Program
95th Indianapolis 500 - NOTES AND QUOTES - Thursday, May 12, 2011
SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE COMPLETED ROOKIE ORIENTATION FOR THE CENTENNIAL RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
1) JR Hildebrand 68 laps 221.533 mph
3) James Hinchcliffe 101 laps 219.664 mph
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The first couple of laps in the Sprott Indy car were certainly a wake up call because I haven't been on an oval in a long time; since Homestead last October. The speed was a bit of a refresher the first couple of laps but as I got up to speed, again, like I said on the road and street courses, the car is a pretty logical progression from the Indy Lights car so I was very happy to see that. Obviously we were running a very conservative setup today just to make sure we got through Day 1 and rookie orientation. The car felt very good and the team worked well today. I am getting acclimated with the spotters a little bit which will be important come race time. Overall, I think it was a very good first day on all fronts."
FAST FACTS: Will compete for the first time on an oval in an Indy car at the Indianapolis 500...Earned a season-high start of eighth place in his debut at Barber and a season-high finish of fourth in Long Beach to date...He tested with NHR for two days at Sebring in December and another two days in January before testing at Barber Motorsports Park March 14-15 where he set the seventh fastest time overall at the test as well as temporarily held the fastest time on Tuesday...Toronto native Hinchcliffe, 24, finished second in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season standings after three wins and four poles. In total he earned eight podium finishes in 13 races... Is ranked 19th with a total of 66 points and is only three behind Rookie of the Year leader Hildebrand (69) after three of four events so far this season.
1 POLE (1987) & TWO SECONDS AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (IMS) FOR NHR: The 2011 entry will mark the 19th year for the team in the event and the sixth since 1995. Prior to 2011, the team prepared a total of 28 entries for drivers such as Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Paul Tracy, Bruno Junqueira, Sebastien Bourdais, Justin Wilson, Graham Rahal, Robert Doornbos and Hideki Mutoh. Oriol Servia and James Hinchcliffe competes for the team in 2011 and will bring the total to 30. NHR's highest finish in the Indy 500 is second place with Mario Andretti in 1985 and Michael Andretti in 1991 although team drivers have led many laps here. Mario Andretti also brought the team its highest start in the event when he won the pole position in 1987. NHR's 2004 entry of Junqueira marked the first time for the team to compete here since 1995 and they returned in 2005 with Junqueira and IMS rookie Bourdais. In 2008 they ran Wilson and Rahal here during a transition season in the series and ran Rahal and Robert Doornbos in 2009. They have earned Rookie of the Year once, with Mansell in 1993 when he finished third.
5 WINS & 6 POLES IN 500-MILE RACES: The team has won five 500-mile races. The most recent 500-mile wins came in 2000 (Christian Fittipaldi, $1 million purse) and 2001 (Cristiano da Matta, $1 million purse) at California Speedway. The team also won the 500-mile events at Michigan International Speedway in 1984 (Mario Andretti), 1989 (Michael Andretti) and in 1993 (Mansell). The team won poles for 500-mile races at Indianapolis (1987; Mario Andretti), Michigan (1984 – Mario Andretti, 1992 – Mario Andretti, 1993 – Mario Andretti, 1994 – Mansell) and Pocono (1987 – Mario Andretti).