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Canadian rookie Hinchcliffe earns first Atlantic win

6/18/2006

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Canadian rookie James Hinchcliffe scored
his first Atlantic series victory Sunday at the Champ Car Grand
Prix of Portland, taking advantage when leader Ryan Lewis lost his
gearbox on the final lap.

"I just couldn't believe it. One lap to go, and something was
happening to Ryan," Hinchcliffe said.

Lewis, an Englishman who drives for Mi-Jack Conquest Racing, led
by as many as 8 seconds on the 1.964-mile road course at Portland
International Raceway. But he suddenly lost his third and fourth
gears on the final lap.

"So I ended up with only second and fifth," he said.

After leading for 31 of the 40 laps in the race, Lewis limped
across the finish line in second, 4.120 seconds behind Hinchcliffe.
German Andreas Wirth, who won earlier this season at Long Beach and
Houston, finished third and extended his lead in points (109) for
the series championship.

Hinchcliffe, who drives for Forsythe Racing, finished third at
Long Beach.

Pole sitter Graham Rahal, son of racing legend Bobby Rahal, was
knocked out of the race before the first lap was complete when he
was hit from behind by fellow rookie Simon Pagenaud of France.