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IndyCar Driver of the Year vote: 5th

You voted Canada's James Hinchcliffe into 5th place in's IndyCar Driver of the Year 2012 poll!
Top 10 IndyCar Driver of the Year 2012:
5. James Hinchcliffe

Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario
Birthdate: December 5, 1986
Team: Andretti Autosport
2012 starts: 15
Poles: 0
Wins: 0
Top 5: 5
Top 10: 8
Championship points: 358
Championship position: 8th IndyCar Driver of 2011 position: 7th

There was a lot of pressure riding on James Hinchcliffe's shoulders as he started the 2012 season, not least because he was visibly stepping into Danica Patrick's vacated lime green shoes. He also needed to ensure that the momentum of being the 2011 rookie of the year wasn't lost as so often happens to second-year drivers in motorsport.

By and large, he's been successful. While there's not been any dramatic victories for the Canadian, he kept his race performances ticking over nicely with seven top six finishes in the first eight races including podiums at Long Beach and Milwaukee. Unfortunately the latter half of the season trailed off somewhat as the focus within the team moved to supporting Ryan Hunter-Reay's championship bid, and Hinch had to settle for eighth place in the final points standings.

But the fact that Hunter-Reay went on to clinch the championship may be the most important aspect of Hinchcliffe's season. Andretti Autosport had a dismal 2011 but seemed rejuvenated in 2012; and one of the reasons team insiders gave for the sudden uptick in performance was Hinch's own personality which made the team garage once again a fun and peasant place to be around. Hunter-Reay may owe the Guy a rather bigger share of his title success than we realised.

Top 10 IndyCar Driver of the Year 2012 results so far:
5. James Hinchcliffe
6. Helio Castroneves
7. Sebastien Bourdais
8. Takuma Sato
9. Justin Wilson
10. Dario Franchitti

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
James Hinchcliffe is towed after his crash with a huge piece of debris hanging from his car during the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. 1-3 June, 2012, Detroit, Michigan (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
The front row for the 2012 Indy 500:  Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Briscoe. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
James Hinchcliffe waits to qualify during qualifying for the 2012 Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Phillip Abbott LAT Photo USA  (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
James Hinchcliffe #27 Team Andretti Autosport during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012 Dan R. Boyd, LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
13-15 April, 2012, Long Beach, California, USA. James Hinchcliffe, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud wave to the fans on the victory lap. (c) 2012, Lesley Ann Miller. LAT Photo USA. [Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA]
Andretti Autosport team mates James Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti confer during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
James Hinchcliffe in the #27 Andretti Autosport Chevrolet during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
IZOD IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe (#27 Andretti Autosport) (c) 2012 Michael L. Levitt, LAT Photo (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
2016 Indy 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Stefan Wilson, 2016 Indy 500
James Hinchcliffe, Long Beach, IndyCar
Dallara, IndyCar, [Credit: IndyCar]
Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing, IndyCar [Credit: Ed Jones PR]
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Ed Jones celebrates winning the 2016 Indy Lights championship
Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) celebrates at Laguna Seca

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Sir Charles - Unregistered

December 28, 2012 3:51 AM

Agreed David. Hinch has some personality, but i think he'll end up around the same position at the end of next season. I think Pagenaud (and maybe Bourdais) will be in the title hunt next year.

David Chaste - Unregistered

December 27, 2012 8:48 PM

Stellar effort from Hinch, and great on-air personality too. But if he is 5th, then Simon Pagenaud would have to rank higher than this. If Simon was in one of the big 3 teams, he would have been in the championship hunt

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