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IndyCar Driver of the Year 2011: 7th

You voted James Hinchcliffe into 7th place in Crash.net's IndyCar Driver of the Year poll!
Top 10 IndyCar Driver of the Year 2011:
7. James Hinchcliffe

Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Team: Newman/Haas Racing
2011 starts: 16
Poles: 0
Wins: 0
Top 5: 3
Top 10: 7
Championship points: 302
Championship position: 12th

Runner-up in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights series, Canada's James Hinchcliffe got a delayed start to his 2011 IndyCar Series opportunity when he was signed by Newman/Haas only after the first race of the season at St Petersburg had already been run.

He didn't make it to half-race distance in his deferred d├ębut at Barber Motorsports Park, but he then finished in fourth place the very next time out at Long Beach and went on to finish in the top ten again in the appalling wet weather conditions in Sao Paulo.

Suddenly, people were paying much closer attention to the Mayor of Hinchtown. There were two more back-to-back top ten finishes mid-season at Milwaukee and Iowa, and two more fourth place finishes at New Hampshire Motorspeedway and Kentucky, as he demonstrated a consistent improvement in performance as the season went on and his confidence and expertise grew.

The Newman/Haas team even managed to scrape together enough sponsorship money to include Hinchcliffe in the long-haul flyaway race to Japan in October after all - it not having been included in the original contract. Motegi wasn't a great result for him in itself, but without it his six point lead over JR Hildebrand in the battle for the Rookie of the Year would have been reversed and he would have ended up losing out for the accolade.

Having had such a good start to his IndyCar career while also establishing himself as a popular member of the IndyCar family, it was devastating to hear that he might now find himself without a seat altogether in 2012 after the news broke about Newman/Haas' exit from the series. Surely someone will recognise his talent and his sheer likeability and ensure that the young Canadian isn't out of work next year?

Top 10 IndyCar Driver of the Year 2011 results so far:

8. Graham Rahal
9. Ed Carpenter
10. JR Hildebrand



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
James Hinchcliffe (CAN - Newman/Haas Racing) relaxed with his team during the Rookie Orientation Program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Thursday, May 12 [Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
James Hinchcliffe in the pits during Saturday practice at Motegi. [Picture credit: Brian Simpson for IndyCar Media]
James Hinchcliffe poses for two photographs at the same time at Motegi. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
James Hinchliffe on track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. August 2011. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Canadian local hero James Hinchciffe an unsurprising favourite with the press and media at Edmonton. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
James Hinchcliffe [Picture credit: IndyCar media]
Oriol Servia is strapped into his Andretti Autosport Honda prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia on course during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on pit lane prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal sits in his Honda machine on pit lane during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power watches track activity from his pit stand during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia is strapped into his Andretti Autosport Honda prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power slides into his Team Penske Chevrolet prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti kicks up some dust in the Turn 9A chicane complex during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Will Power apexes Turn 9A during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya apexes Turn 9A during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Luca Filippi goes off course in the Turn 9A chicane area during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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