Hinchcliffe is taking over the familiar GoDaddy car previously driven by Danica Patrick. (LAT photo)
James Hinchcliffe has been signed as Danica Patrick's replacement in the Go Daddy-backed Andretti Autosport entry for the upcoming IZOD IndyCar Series season.
Dan Wheldon had originally secured a deal to take over the NASCAR-bound Patrick's seat for 2012 on the morning of his fatal accident in last year's season-finale at Las Vegas. Hinchcliffe told USA Today that taking the place originally earmarked for the Indy 500 winner was a huge responsibility.
"That weighed on me from the first phone call," the Canadian said. "I look at Dan Wheldon as a tremendous racecar driver and a champion, but also a tremendous person. I'm going to think about him every time I get into that car. There's no doubt that a part of me will be driving for Dan this year."
Hinchcliffe won last year's IndyCar Rookie of the Year honors on the strength on his performances with Newman/Haas Racing, which included best results of fourth in Long Beach, at New Hampshire and Kentucky.
Meanwhile, Hinchcliffe's former teammate at Newman/Haas, Oriol Servia, appears headed for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, according to SPEED's Robin Miller. Assuming the Spaniard signs there, it would mark his 10th different team in his open-wheel career dating to 2000. Since he joined the IndyCar Series from Champ Car in 2008, Servia has driven for KV Racing Technology, Rahal Letterman Racing and Newman/Haas.
Servia would join Alex Tagliani (Bryan Herta Autosport) and Simona de Silvestro (HVM Racing) as drivers for Lotus' three works teams.