Off-track his success was recognized by receiving the ‘Greg Moore Legacy Award’ at the IndyCar Series banquet in October – the award named in honor of one of Hinchcliffe’s personal racing heroes and his fellow Canadian. James, while competing equally successfully in the Atlantic Championship earlier in his career, was also a recipient of the ‘Gilles Villeneuve Award’ in 2007.
After two decorated seasons in Firestone Indy Lights, ‘Hinch’, who turns 24 next week, is now keen to cement his place in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series with his rookie test with Newman Haas Racing a positive step in the right direction.
“Well it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to compete in the IndyCar Series having followed it so closely growing up and then moving into open-wheel racing,” stated Hinchcliffe. “The chance to test for a team with the pedigree and heritage of Newman Haas Racing is incredible. I’d really like to thank Carl Haas for this opportunity and I look forward to working with the whole team at Sebring.
“I’m naturally looking forward to testing an IndyCar for the first time in my career. I had a great season with Team Moore Racing in Indy Lights and I think I’ve done enough, on and off track, to prove that I’m ready to graduate into the IndyCar Series. Newman Haas Racing’s reputation speaks for itself so together I hope we enjoy a productive couple of days. I’ve said all along that I want to be on the IndyCar grid in 2011, this is hopefully the next step in realizing my goal.”
Newman Haas Racing, founded in 1983 by the late Paul Newman and Carl Haas, has a rich history in open-wheel racing with their driver roster reading like a ‘Hall of Fame’ class registry thanks to the likes of Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Cristiano da Matta and Sebastian Bourdais winning countless races and titles between them.