Difficult Weather Conditions Products Mixed Results at the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto for Sierra Sierra Enterprises
POSTED 12 July 2007

Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Difficult and quickly changing weather conditions were cause for an action packed race in Toronto with Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) taking third and teammate James Hinchcliffe (#9 NOCO/ProWorks) unable to finish the race due to contact.

Almost in sync with the start of the race, rain began to pour as the drivers approached the first turns of the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto. Claiming pole position, Matos took the front row but was not able to maintain his lead. A series of crashes brought out the caution flags and the teams pulled into the pit to switch to rain tires. Upon the restart, Matos took and held fourth for most of the race and was able to avoid contact despite the low visibility. During a late race challenge for second place between teammates John Edwards (#7 Red Bull/INDECK) and Robert Wickens (#3 Red Bull/INDECK), Wickens spun while attempting to pass and opened the door for Matos to claim the third spot on the podium. Matos continues to lead the championship race by 30 points and Sierra Sierra continues an uninterrupted podium stream for the 2007 season.

"It was a good weekend for us – we were quickest both qualifying sessions and had a really strong car. Unfortunately it started raining and I didn't get a good start. I lost four positions from the wheel spin and had to change my mindset about the race. I left Toronto with a 30-point lead and extending it in Edmonton would be great! I'm definitely looking forward to the last four races of the season," said Matos.

James Hinchcliffe (#9 NOCO/ProWorks) was not as fortunate in front of his hometown crowd. While under a caution flag, Hinchcliffe was hit from behind and was not able to repair the damage in time to re-enter the race:

"The race certainly didn't go as planned for us! We had a less then stellar qualifying but knew we had a much stronger car for the race. On lap 1 it was raining and we were on slick tires, which made for an interesting start! After they red flagged it and we got rain tires on, I was confident of moving up. But shortly after we got going there was a yellow and the car behind me misjudged where the safety car had got us and ended up running into the back of me. I know it was really tough to see, but under caution it was such an unnecessary accident. We pitted and tried to fix the damage - my guys worked so hard and I'm just really gutted that we couldn't be on the podium for the fans."

In total, thirteen of the twenty-three cars entered in the Sunday race did not finish due to contact.

Hinchcliffe is fourth in the Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda championship points race with 178.

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