Every now and then, even a seasoned racer needs to get out and have a bit of fun with his hometown peeps. At 25, James Hinchcliffe
is surprisingly seasoned, having started racing karts at 9 years old. Hinch also knows that the hometown love is the best place to build the brand, so when he announced the first ever Hinchtown Media Challenge, Toronto's GP Kartways
was the obvious choice.
When we received the invite here in the Autoblog Canada offices, the reality hit that we didn't stand a chance with yours truly behind the wheel of a kart. Something to do with a power to weight ratio problem. Instead, we decided to bring along a bit of a ringer in my 18 year old daughter, Shelby, who has proven herself to be quicker than her old man on the track. She did our team proud.
Beyond the obvious photo ops, there was precious little in the way of idle media chatter, as Hinch just wanted to get into Danica's old uniform
, get out and race, as did everyone else.
Not to be outdone by Brad Keselowski, who was live tweeting from the car when the Daytona 500
was red flagged, Hinchcliffe took to tweeting live during the
less experienced group.
Anyone can tweet under a red flag, this is tweeting under green! Impressed, @keselowski?!
Team Autoblog Canada qualified on the second row of the faster group, behind experienced racers Brian Makse
and Nick Jameson
. Just to make things a little more interesting, the Mayor of Hinchtown started at the back of the field. He wouldn't stay there long. The pack made it to turn 2, when someone punted our girl and she spun to the back of the field. Like Hinch, she wouldn't stay there long.
Jameson, who had raced karts with Hinch in their teenage years had good speed and some lucky breaks in traffic, allowing him to stay at the front and take the win. The real excitement though was the battle for third spot, as Hinch, Makse and Grant traded paint for lap after lap. When the checker flew, James took third with Shelby and Brian following up.
We'll take a fourth place finish any day when 3rd is the Mayor of Indycar!