Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Q&A With James Hinchcliffe

(Photos: Indy Racing League, sanctioning body of the Firestone Indy Lights)
16th And Georgetown: In your YouTube video 'Hinch Does The Fair Part 2' (1.0 can be found HERE) you said "So here's an exciting ride right here.  Your going round-and-round, wicked fast pace, constant G-load the entire time, no chance to rest.  It's kinda like racing at Iowa".  Aside from having to hitchhike part of the way to the race because a certain former driver pushed the fuel window on the RV, how was your weekend?

James Hinchcliffe: Haha, it's true! That ride is just like racing at Iowa!  Our weekend was really disappointing if I am honest.  We had a problem in qualifying that starved the engine of fuel on the second lap and our first lap had been quickest of all.  So to start where we did we made up as much as we could, but ultimately we lost ground to the leader of the championship.  If we had had a fifth place car all weekend and that's where we ended, then fine, you go back and look where you can improve.  To have a front running car and finish fifth is tough to take.

16th And Georgetown: In reply to a tweet from someone that mentioned that the movie 'Twister' makes them cringe, you said that you get the same feeling when watching 'Driven'. 2 part question, 1) I don't get it, why does everybody always bash on Driven? And 2), If Driven is at the bottom of the list, whats at the top of your movie list?

James Hinchcliffe: Really?!  You don't get why people bash Driven?  I think the most polite way to word it is that they tried to portray our sport as accurately as possible and still make it an entertaining movie.  They did not achieve either of these goals!  In terms of favourite movies, I really like Guy Ritchie as a director.  Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch are both brilliant films.

16th And Georgetown: You just recently got back from a trip to Montreal for the F1 race, how'd it go?

James Hinchcliffe: My trip to Montreal was stellar.  I was there with TW Steel, who sponsor the Renault team, and we were guests of theirs for the weekend.  They took very good care of us and we had access to everything, so it was cool to see the circus up close.  On top of that, Montreal is such a beautiful city and it's just amplified when the race is in town.  Beautiful city, beautiful cars, beautiful people.  You can't go wrong!

16th And Georgetown: In one of your videos, from I believe 2008, you were walking the Atlantic paddock getting Simona De Silvestro, & Frankie Muniz,  & Johnny Unser & a few others to take a bite of a famous Road America brat. Wondering whats next? Maybe a tenderloin at Indy or possibly some steak tips at Kentucky, or maybe you have something else on your radar?

James Hinchcliffe: It's funny you say a tenderloin from Indy because Philip Major and I helped out on an episode of Man vs Food during May and that is what Adam was eating!  I think I might wait until Toronto and try and get some people to try an authentic Canadian dish.  Poutine!  Fries, gravy and cheese curds.  Sounds gross, looks gross and personally I think it is gross, but a lot of people love it and I haven't really seen it anywhere else, so we may try and broaden some people's culinary horizons!

16th And Georgetown: Fellow Canadian and owner/driver for the start-up FAZZT Race Team, Alex Tagliani, has had a rather impressive year so far after purchasing the equipment from another Canadian Marty Roth.  He's representing the Maple Leaf well, eh?

James Hinchcliffe: Alex and the whole FAZZT team have really done an incredible job so far this year.  I think they have exceeded everybody's expectations, including their own!  It just goes to show what getting the right group of people together can do for an organization.  Sort of like what we did at Team Moore this year.  But I think it's great to have a full time Canadian in the IZOD IndyCar series and the fact that it's a Canadian team is that much more impressive.  I really hope the Canadian race fans are paying attention and showing their support!

16th And Georgetown: Obviously it's still early, but what are your plans for 2011?

James Hinchcliffe: It's never too early to start thinking about next year!  It's the nature of this sport.  For next year we really want to move up to the IZOD IndyCar series.  I've been at this level now for a number of years, I think I have a decent amount of experience and I am the right age and I think we have a lot to offer both on and off the track.  But it's no secret sponsorship is the name of the game and so we have had a group of people working since March on our 2011 program.  It would be a dream come true to land on that grid next year and everything I am doing is geared towards achieving that goal.

16th And Georgetown: Your apart of the newly formed for 2010, 'Pacecar Team'.  Another 2 parter, 1) What exactly do your duties consist of & 2) Do you and your teammates (Martin Plowman, Stefan Wilson, & Charlie Kimball) have any types of inside competition? e.g.: Quickest lap, or making the lucky rider poo-poo themselves?

James Hinchcliffe: Our duties mostly consist of smack talking to our teammates and terrorizing the guests at any and all possible opportunities!  At least that's what we end up doing.  What we are 'supposed' to do is be the designated drivers for all of the VIP pace car rides during a weekend, we also drive the parade cars at the front of the field for a number of the IndyCar races and then also make special appearances as "The Pace Car Team".  It's been a really cool program for us to be part of and it has been really well received by everyone, especially the fans, and they are priority #1.

16th And Georgetown: In another one of your famous Hinchtown.com videos, while in I believe the 5th hour of picking rubber off your firesuit, you mentioned that you were elected Mayor of Hinchtown in 2006. If my mathematics are correct, that means there should be an upcoming election. So, how's the campaign going?

James Hinchcliffe: I haven't found anyone stupid enough to run against me!!  Who else would want to control this run down little mess of a town?  As long as the fans keep turning up and visiting, and numbers are up this season, then I will just keep on doing my thing and wait for someone to try and take my seat or for the townspeople to revolt!

Huge thanks to James Hinchcliffe for taking a few minutes out of his crazy busy day to do the Q&A. Be sure to follow Hinch on Twitter, Friend him on Facebook and visit his 'little mess of a town' at Hinchtown.com.

Also, Thanks to Firestone Indy Lights PR ace Arni Sribhen for setting it up, be sure to follow Arni 'The Insider" on Twitter as well!


Thanks for posting. I hope Hinch gets an IndyCar ride next year.

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