Seen here dressed as some woman called Danica, Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe isn’t just a successful Indy Car driver but without doubt one of the funniest guys in Motorsport. While most modern race car drivers have been deemed a little… well… boring, ‘Hinch’ certainly isn’t, a guy who stars in brilliant viral videos, does impressions of fellow drivers and has a great laugh doing it.
We’ve featured some Hinch on WTF1 before with his impression of Kimi and #theoffseason videos but now he’s taken some time out to answer some of our questions. Enjoy…
WTF1: Hinch, thanks for taking time out to talk to us. How has 2013 been for you so far, looking forward to the season ahead?
James Hinchcliffe: 2013 has been a very good year so far! But the off season has been long and I can’t wait to get the season going. I know 13 is unlucky for most people, but I’ve always been a bit different so hopefully it’s a good luck year for me.
WTF1: Luckily you and a few others have helped make this years off-season so much better thanks to your YouTube series. How did the idea for the off season come about?
JH: Well what happened was Ryan Seacrest was looking for a new reality show and…ok so maybe Ryan wasn’t involved. I honestly wish I could claim creative credit but it was the brain trust at Indycar that came up with it. We shot the whole series in one day. I honestly wish you could see the outtakes because about 90% of what we filmed was completely unusable!
WTF1: Do you really like Carly Rae Jepsen or was that just for show?
JH: I will neither confirm not deny any alleged affection or appreciation for Carly or her music.
WTF1: You look like you have a great laugh with Will, Josef and Charlie. Are those three the guys you get on best with in the Indy Car Series?
JH: Three of them, ya. There are others I get along well with too. It’s a close family in Indycar. Charlie, Josef and I train together in Indy, so I see those jokers all the time. And Will I’ve known for years and think he’s one of the funniest guys around.
WTF1: You’re always playing tricks on each other but have you played any pranks with each other that wasn’t part of the Off Season videos?
JH: Not on those guys in particular, I regret to report. A little more with my teammates. Not quite to the level of the Franchitti/Herta/TK/Wheldon era though! I think that’ll be the goal for this year. Pull a prank that’s talked about ten years from now.
WTF1: Have any of them backfired?
JH: Pranks backfire all the time. It sucks, but worse is even though you failed you know they are still going to retaliate, and we all know payback is ….an unpleasant thing.
WTF1: You shaved your beard for a bet with Wade Cunningham, if you made a similar bet with other drivers, what would you like their forfeits to be?
JH: I’m assuming personal cheques made out to me isn’t the answer you’re looking for. Dario shaving his head! Or TK growing his out!! Ha ha, I’m not sure why it’s all surrounding hair, but that would be funny.
WTF1: We featured your Kimi Raikkonen impression from a Daytona interview this year and it went down a treat, you really have a knack for it, do you do any other impressions?
JH: Not sure what you mean? I thought Kimi was really in Daytona! I’ve done a decent Helio before, but not for a while. I do a great impression of a mid twenties, Canadian Indycar driver though!
WTF1: Do you follow F1 or any other racing series?
JH: I follow most other series. I’m a big F1 and NASCAR fan and I try to keep up with the sports car world and MotoGP as well. I just love racing.
WTF1: Who were your heroes when you were growing up hoping to make it as a racing driver?
JH: There were a few for sure, but the standout for me was Greg Moore. He was everything. Badass driver, genuinely great human being. The complete package. It’s rare in sports.
WTF1: Could you tell us a bit about your helmet design and what it means to you?
JH: Well the blue and yellow checkers are paying homage to Greg. The red/orange at the front and top originally started looking more like a maple leaf, but ultimately it’s a bit Canadian inspired. I wanted a design that wasn’t just lines and a circle around the top. Something that looked a bit different.
WTF1: So what is your ultimate goal in your racing career?
JH: I could sit here and write out a massive list of achievements I want, but those are tough to check off the list because so much in racing is out of your control. So looking at goals rather than achievements, I have two: be in the sport long enough that I retire on my terms and leave with the respect of the people I respect.
WTF1: Finally, can we become residents of Hinchtown?
JH: Yes!! Go to Hinchtown and click on become a resident in the Post Office section! Choose a title and boom, you’re in! We let anyone in.
A big thanks to James for taking some time out to answer our questions and to Stu for organising things for us!