James Hinchcliffe was delighted to be able to talk about his new multi-year race deal with Andretti Autosports to drive the Go Daddy-sponsored #27 car in 2012 and beyond.
"I'm so excited to be driving with the Andretti Autosport team and representing Go Daddy next season," said the 25-year old Canadian driver. "I'm excited to get a chance to work with a company that likes to be a little bit edgy, pushes the boundaries. I've never been an inside-the-box kind of guy."
"We're really excited to have James join," echoed Hinchcliffe's new team owner Michael Andretti. "He's a great personality. I think he's going to be perfect for our team," he said, adding: "We feel like he's going to fit right in. I think he's going to be good with the chemistry of Marco [Andretti] and Ryan [Hunter-Reay.]"
Getting the right personality was clearly top of the list for the primary sponsors, internet services company Go Daddy, as Michael Andretti was first to admit.
"Obviously Go Daddy had a lot of say in who they wanted to represent their product. They were very high on James right away when we brought up his name," he confirmed. "Personality is going to be important, because they are a little edgy and fun. I think James can be that way."
But Andretti went on to say that all talk of edgy personality aside, what had really sealed the deal was Hinchcliffe's driving ability.
"What caught my eye with him last year was his teammate," said Andretti. "He had a very good teammate. Oriol [Servia] is a very good guy, very fast - many times [Hinch] out-raced him and out-qualified him. That says something. That was a good benchmark for us to look at."
Hinchcliffe admitted that the last few months had been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, with the tragic death of Dan Wheldon, then the success of clinching the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year title, only to find out that his race team Newman/Haas was pulling out of the sport seemingly leaving him without a race seat for the forthcoming season.
"It was a difficult end of 2011 for everybody," he admitted. "Newman/Haas closing their doors the end of December [was] a little bit of a curve ball ... For me I guess when a door closes a window opens, and this incredible opportunity has come up with Andretti Autosport and Go Daddy.