Jan 21

Hinch New Year catch up Q&A

James is returning to Indy Lights Firestone-Dallara race car

Canada’s James Hinchcliffe returns to the cockpit of an Indy Lights Firestone-Dallara race car at the weekend with a two-day test scheduled with Sam Schmidt Motorsports at the Firebird International Raceway, Phoenix, Saturday 23rd and Monday 25th January.

The 23-year-old Toronto racer, while yet to confirm his 2010 on-track commitments, will test with the team he raced with in his rookie Indy Lights season, steering the #7 entry to several podium finishes and fifth overall in the 2009 Driver Standings.

Naturally eager to get back to doing what he does best, ‘Hinch’, took time out before heading west for a quick catch-up to officially start his 2010 activities:

Q:  Was it a traditional-style Christmas in the ‘Hinch’ household – did you receive unwanted garish wooly sweaters and socks etc?

JH:  “Sadly I didn’t get a Christmas sweater this year.  I really wanted one, the cheesier the better, so that way I would be invited to Christmas sweater parties!  Other than that, it was a typical Christmas for the Hinch clan.  Quiet, low-key, just how we like it!”

Q:  The coolest gift you received was…?

JH:  “Coolest gift would have been that sweater I wanted!!!  But, in absence of that, the best by far was my new guitar.  It is a custom built guitar that I helped design and choose all the wood for and everything. 

It’s been a year in the making and it’s been really cool seeing the process of how it was built.  It started as a couple of pieces of wood and the first time I saw the whole thing together was Christmas morning.  It really is a work of art but I’m still trying to think of a name for it – I’m open to suggestions!!!

Q:  What was the very last thing you did in 2009 and what was the first thing you did to welcome 2010?

JH:  “The last thing was say ‘3, 2, 1’ and the first thing was most likely say ‘Happy New Year’.  In all honesty, right before midnight I was having a snowball fight with a bunch of my friends in the middle of a frozen lake!  We were having so much fun we nearly missed the countdown.  We finally got inside as the TV was yelling ‘8, 7…’.  So the first act of the New Year would have been a kiss from a beautiful woman, my girlfriend.  By all accounts it should be a good year!”

Q:  Your lamest ever New Year’s Resolution was…?

JH:  “Eating healthier!  I was eating cold pizza by about 1am!”

Q:  What do you wish you could have done in 2009 but didn’t?

JH:  “Well, for sure not winning a race was tough.  We were close so many times but it just never came together.  We had the pace but were just missing every coming together on the same day.  It’s tough, but that’s the point.  So I wish I would have won a race.  That, and become a Jedi!  But who has the time?”

Q:  What can we expect from James Hinchcliffe – the racing driver this year?

JH:  “That’s a tough question!  The goal is to race in the Firestone Indy Lights Series again.  We are close to getting the funding in place.  But, as it was last year, this season is shaping up to be super competitive.  A bunch of returning drivers and some good new rookies are looking into the series, so it’s really difficult to predict anything!  All I can say is that you can expect 100% commitment and effort from me to be at the front.”

Q:  As Mayor of the beloved, and continually expanding ‘Hinchtown’ – your website, what’s on your manifesto for the next 12 months?

JH:  “Well it is going to be a busy year from the big chair in Hinchtown.  We are adding some cool new things that I think people will really enjoy.  And I’m really pushing Hinchtown as a great place for a new reality show. Something like ‘The real Housewives of Hinchtown’ I think would really put us on the map.  Stay tuned!”

Q:  Prediction time – who’s going to finish in the top three in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series?

JH:  “Well you can’t count out the Ganassi boys and obviously Penske are going to be tough to beat also.  So much is timing and luck, but if I had to pick three then I would go with, in no particular order, Dixon, Franchitti and Power.  Whoever it is I think it’s shaping up to be a barn-burner of a year.  I don’t even know why people say that or even what it means, but it makes it sound intense!”

Q:  If you could race in ANY event worldwide in 2010, what would it be and why?

JH:  “The 24 Hours of Lemons!  You heard me right.  The 24 hour race where the car has to be under $500!  Who wouldn’t want to do that?  That, or the IndyCar race in Toronto would be pretty cool.  Similarly, the F1 race in Montreal.  Nothing beats the thrill of racing on home turf.”

Q:  With American Idol kicking off the new year’s ‘Reality TV’ scheduling last week – how would Simon Cowell describe your vocal talent?

JH:  “He would say, ‘That was the most appalling attempt at singing I have ever heard.  I don’t think someone could be more tone deaf than you.  If such a thing as an ear transplant existed, I would be first in line to get it after being subjected to that epic singing failure.’  Pretty harsh, eh?  But then I would tell Simon what I thought of his haircut!”

More information: www.hinchtown.com

source: SM-PR: