Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada – Sierra Sierra continued its podium streak – this time with both drivers on the podium at the Champ Car Mont-Tremblant. At each of the first six rounds of the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda Series, Sierra Sierra Enterprises has had a driver on the podium. This time the podium celebration was twice as sweet with Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) taking second and James Hinchcliffe (#9 NOCO/ProWorks) making a late race pass to claim third.
Matos started the race in the front row after claiming provisional pole in the Friday qualifying session. He was able to execute a clean start, but, despite his speed, was unable to close the gap on Franck Perrera (#11 CJ Motorsports) who pulled ahead early in the race. Matos held onto second for all 34 laps of the race, which yielded only one caution flag despite the quickly changing weather conditions. On the second-to-last lap, Matos ran low on fuel and had to pull back on the throttle to conserve fuel. He maintained second in the race and continues to lead the championship point's standings by 33 points over teammate James Hinchcliffe with 201 points.
Hinchcliffe brought some excitement to the last laps of the race as he passed Giacomo Ricci (#18 Banca Italease/Lotto/Global) for third and narrowed the gap on Matos as he slowed his pace due to low fuel. His late race efforts pulled him from a 5th place start to a 3rd place finish. Hinchcliffe maintains second place in the championship point's race with 168.
"The race in Tremblant obviously ended in a good result for us. It honestly wasn't the most exciting race and I was a little disappointed we couldn't keep pace with Franck and Rafa. I spent the race trying to hold on to Ricci and trying to control the gap back to Bomarito and then I was thrown a bit of good luck when Ricci started slowing with 2 laps to go. I wasn't sure if he made a mistake or had a problem, but I saw I was catching him. I went for a move on the outside of turn 8 and managed to pull it off. Three corners later I saw Rafa [Matos] was having trouble too! If the start finish line was 100 feet further down the track I would have had second. So a good result - we have some work to do to get the pace back up for the remaining races," said Hinchcliffe.
Hinchcliffe and the Sierra Sierra Enterprises team are looking forward to a hometown victory for the Toronto native. The upcoming Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto takes place July 6 – 8.
"I'm really looking forward to going back to Toronto. Obviously being my home race it would be that much more special to win. There really isn't any added pressure, because I pressure myself to win at every track - but if I have a good result, it just means more. I hope we can put on a good show for the fans, and I would love to hear Oh Canada playing on Sunday," said Hinchcliffe.