In The Spotlight: James Hinchcliffe

Academy Graduate flying in the 2017 IndyCar season!

Five-time Verizon IndyCar Series race winner and Indy 500 pole qualifier James Hinchcliffe has already experienced the exhilaration and frustration that can happen in IndyCar racing in the first race of the 2017 season. After qualifying third for the St. Petersburg event, James raced into the lead for 21 laps only to have a yellow flag situation change the metrics for balance of the race. After qualifying 4th and jumping to 2nd place off the start, James eventually took the lead and never looked back, winning race 2 in Long Beach!

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Having raced karts successfully until 2002, James graduated from our three-day race license course and finished 3rd overall in the Bridgestone Racing Academy's Series in 2003 with five wins, four poles and 11 podium results. From 2004 to 2010 James ran in Formula BMW, Formula Mazda, A1GP, Formula Atlantic and Indy Lights.

Jeremy Hinchcliffe carefully chose the Bridgestone Racing Academy as his son's initial training ground for race cars due to the Academy's 32-year injury-free safety record, comprehensiveness of the programs, and purpose built training track (with very few walls and guard rails).

We're already very excited to follow James through 2017 as he races for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports!

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Detailed James Hinchcliffe driver record


  • Achieved 3rd place at the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
  • Qualified on pole at the Indy 500 and finished 7th.
  • Finished on the podium in 3rd place in his home town of Toronto.
  • Stood atop 2nd place on the podium at the Texas Firestone 600, after leading the most laps.


  • Won race 2 at NOLA Motorsports Park.
  • A very scary mechanical failure crash at the Indy 500 led to 133 days of surgeries and recovery that prevented James from racing in the remainder of the season.


  • Finished 12th overall with three top-5 finishes and seven top-10 finishes.
  • Had a career-best 6th place at the Indy 500.


  • Finished 8th in the overall championship.
  • After qualifying 4th for the IndyCar season opener, James took the win.
  • Multiple wins and podiums were part of a season that also had multiple frustrations.


  • Achieved 8 top-6 finishes, including two 3rd place podiums.
  • Qualified 2nd and finished 6th at the world-famous Indianapolis 500.


  • Recorded three top-five and seven top-10 finishes to earn the IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year title despite missing the season-opener.
  • Finished fourth at the Long Beach, New Hampshire and Kentucky races.


  • Finished second in Firestone Indy Lights championship for Team Moore Racing with three wins (Long Beach, Edmonton and Chicagoland).
  • Had series-best four pole positions (St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Watkins Glen and Edmonton).
  • Had 10 top-five finishes and 12 top-10 finishes in 13 starts.
  • Won Greg Moore Legacy Award as Firestone Indy Lights' rising star.


  • Finished fifth in Firestone Indy Lights for Sam Schmidt Motorsports with best finish of second at Mid-Ohio.
  • Recorded five podium finishes, six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 15 starts.


  • Finished fourth in the Atlantic Championship for Forsythe/Pettit Racing with a win at Laguna Seca, two poles and four podium finishes.


  • Finished fourth in the Atlantic Championship for Sierra Sierra Enterprises. Earned three pole positions, six top-five results and nine top-10 results in 12 races.
  • Competed for Team Canada in the A1 Grand Prix series.


  • Enjoyed a strong rookie season in the Atlantic Championship with Forsythe Championship Racing.
  • Scored three podium results, including third at Long Beach, his first series victory at Portland and a third-place run at Montréal, where he also captured his first Atlantic pole.


  • Finished third in Star Mazda with three victories, three poles and six podium results.
  • Finished the season ranked second among all rookies.


  • Earned Formula BMW USA Rookie of the Year honors after scoring three wins, four poles and 10 podium finishes.
  • Earned Atlantic test with Polestar Racing Group at Sebring.


  • Earned five wins, four poles and 11 podium results while finishing third in the Bridgestone Racing Academy F2000 series.

Early Career

  • Captured the TKC Junior Rotax Class Karting Championship with seven wins in seven starts in 2002. Earned Junior Rotax Canada Cup title and won TKC Winter Series Championship in 2002. Competed in several regional and national karting series and championships throughout the United States and Canada.

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