Izod IndyCar Series team Newman/Haas Racing on Tuesday announced that James Hinchcliffe will drive for it in the remaining North American events on the 2011 IndyCar schedule.
The 24-year-old Canadian driver finished second in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights standings. He claimed eight podium finishes in 13 races with three wins, at Long Beach, Edmonton and Chicagoland. He also tested with Newman/Haas in December 2010 and January 2011. His previous open-wheel experience includes competing in the Star Mazda series, the Atlantic series and in A1 Grand Prix.
“We are pleased to add James to our team,” said Carl Haas, founder of Newman/Haas Racing. “He impressed us with how quickly he acclimated himself to the demands of driving an Indy car last December and showed he is more than talented enough to compete at this level since then.”
The driver will make his debut on April 10 at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in Birmingham, Ala.
“Finally making my IndyCar debut really is a dream come true and the end of a 15-year journey getting me to this point,” said Hinchcliffe.
His primary sponsor will be Eric Sprott and Sprott Inc., an independent asset-managing company based in Toronto.
“Having the support from a prominent Canadian company as I start this next step in my career is extra special,” said Hinchcliffe. “I can't thank Eric Sprott and Sprott Inc. enough for their commitment, and I'm sure we can do Canadian sport proud.”
Hinchcliffe will not compete in the international races in São Paulo, Brazil, and Motegi, Japan.