Petro Canada Lubricants sponsored Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and James Hinchcliffe endured an up and down weekend at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend, eventually finishing 12th.
After testing well in pre-race testing, ‘Hinch’ and his Russian teammate, Mikhail Aleshin, qualified a solid 11th and 7th respectively for the Desert Diamond Phoenix Grand Prix.
It became apparent that it wasn’t to be Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ day when Aleshin spun his car in the middle of turn one on the opening lap, leading to a multi-car crash and a lengthy caution.
With Aleshin out of the race, SPM’s focus shifted to the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car of Hinchcliffe. The Canadian made strides throughout the 250-lap contest and ran as high as fifth, but had to settle for 12th across the line as they struggled to save enough fuel during the course of the event.
"Certainly not the end result we were hoping for," noted Hinchcliffe. "For us, the race started pretty decent. Obviously I felt bad to see Mikhail caught up in the Turn 1 incident. From there we had a decent first stint. During the first round of stops, we realized we weren’t on the same program as everyone else and we ended up having to stop a whole lot earlier than the other cars, and weren’t getting the fuel mileage we needed to. There were no yellows to help us out either, so when we had to come in for a splash of fuel at the end of the race, that took us out of Top-10 contention. We rolled off the track with a good car again and we’ll head into the month of May to see what we can do!"
It’s a one weekend break before the action resumes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the Grand Prix kicking off the month of May on May 12-13.
View the race recap video