IndyCar: James Hinchcliffe to drive for Andretti Autosport in 2021

James Hinchcliffe, IndyCar -. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
James Hinchcliffe, IndyCar -. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

James Hinchcliffe is set to be back in IndyCar on a regular basis in the 2021 season, and he is set to do so by returning to Andretti Autosport.

After losing his ride with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports following the 2019 IndyCar season, James Hinchcliffe was without a full-time ride in 2020 for the first time since his career began in 2011.

He spent the season as a part-time driver for Andretti Autosport, competing behind the wheel of the #29 Honda at Texas Motor Speedway and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first road course race as well as the Indy 500.

He picked up three additional starts to close out the season, two at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and one on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, as the replacement for Zach Veach behind the wheel of the #26 Honda.

He is set to return to the series on a regular basis in the 17-race 2021 season, and he is set to do so for Andretti Autosport with Genesys as his primary sponsor for 10 races.

Here’s a look at the 10 races which Genesys is slated to serve as the primary sponsor of Hinchcliffe’s #29 Honda.

Here is what Hinchcliffe had to say about the matter, according to a team release.

"“This program is something we’ve been working on since the day we signed our three-race deal with Andretti Autosport last March. Being back fulltime has always been the goal and it feels so great to know that I will be back on the grid with such an amazing team, one I’ve had a lot of great memories and success with.“So many people at Genesys worked hard to get this done, and I am looking forward to representing them this year. Everyone at Honda, Don and Tom from Spire Sports, Michael, JF, Doug and the whole Andretti group, and everyone that has worked so hard to make this all come together. Even though it’s been a long road, the real work starts now, and I can’t wait to get to the track and kick off 2021.”"

Here is what team owner Michael Andretti had to say about the addition of Hinchcliffe to the team’s driver lineup for the 2021 season.

"“We’re really excited to have Hinch back in the car for 2021 and thrilled to welcome Genesys again to the Andretti family, this year in an expanded role. This is just the first step in many exciting things for the #29 and we know Genesys will be a great partner serving as the cornerstone to the season for James.”"

Here is what Genesys CEO Tony Bates had to add.

"“We’re building upon our tremendous partnership with James Hinchcliffe and Andretti Autosport. The success we have seen together goes beyond the deep connection Genesys has with the Indianapolis community. James and the entire Andretti team are leaders on the track because they’re empowered with the right technology and data so they can make informed decisions at the right moment. That’s at the heart of every winning customer experience too, and what’s driving our momentum at Genesys.”"

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The 34-year-old Canadian competed full-time for Andretti Autosport from 2012 to 2014 before leaving for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, where he stayed until he was released following the 2019 season.

Hinchcliffe is the fifth confirmed driver overall and fourth full-time driver for Andretti Autosport in 2021. Colton Herta is set to drive the #26 Honda full-time, Alexander Rossi is set to drive the #27 Honda full-time and Ryan Hunter-Reay is set to drive the #28 Honda full-time. Marco Andretti is set to drive the #98 Honda in the Indy 500 and potentially a few other races as well.

Additional sponsorship deals for Hinchcliffe’s #29 Honda will be announced at a later date.

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The 2021 IndyCar season is scheduled to get underway at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday, April 18 with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by AmFirst, which is set to be broadcast live on NBC. The exact time remains TBD.