The Mayor of Hinchtown is firmly in the driver’s seat heading into 2015. IndyCar’s most affable spokesman has jumped ship to rejoin Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and pick up the reigns where Simon Pagenaud has left off. It is a great contract and it firmly establishes the likable Canadian as a lead driver in the sport. In the time since the news broke he’s been all over the place.
He hung out with Wade Cunningham and drove in the awesome SVRA vintage races down at COTA, bonus points for saying hi while we were there and giving me a twitter shout out. He’s also tested a classic Porsche 962 against a brand new 918 supercar at Indianapolis in an upcoming feature for Road and Track. He has his own beer line now, the brilliantly named Hinchtown Hammer Down by Indianapolis micro-brewery Flat 12 Bierwerks. And he just hung out at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the hugely popular musical act Deadmau5. Hinchcliffe has long been the coolest driver of his generation and his outgoing personality is something Andretti Autosport never fully utilized. Now with a lead driver role, Hinchcliffe’s penchant for fun both on and off the track is truly coming to the fore.
He will have big shoes to fill as Pagenaud kept Schmidt Peterson at the front to the field and was Honda’s go to guy in IndyCar. They may be a step behind the Chevy runners at the moment, but Sam Schmidt has faith in his new driver and they are ready to let the good times roll.
James is one of the best personalities in motorsports today…he’s very open and welcoming, he’s got a great sense of humor and he’s authentic. – Ken Ungar, IndyCar Series Vice President
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