James Hinchcliffe, who concluded his Firestone Indy Lights Championship campaign with a second-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway, has been named the winner of the Greg Moore Legacy Award for 2010. The 23-year-old from Toronto, who finished second to France's J.K. Vernay in Indy Lights this year, scored victories at Long Beach, Edmonton and Chicago with his No. 2 Team Moore Racing entry, while finishing on the podium eight times.
The award, named in honor of fellow Canadian, Greg Moore, who tragically lost his life in 1999, is traditionally given to a driver who best typifies Moore's legacy of outstanding talent on track, as well as displaying a dynamic personality with fans, the media and the racing community. Hinchcliffe, a previous recipient of the Gilles Villeneuve Award, said he was humbled to receive the award, not just as a fellow Canadian driver, but also as Greg Moore was a personal childhood hero growing up.
“It's tough to put into words what that award means to me," Hinchcliffe said. "Greg Moore was my hero growing up, and still is today! He was such a good racecar driver, but on top of that he was just an incredible person. To have my name attached to an award that bears his name is something that's very special. And on top of that, the list of drivers who have received this award previously is also very special. It's certainly something I'm very proud of!"
Hinchcliffe added he was satisfied with his sophomore season in Indy Lights, despite missing out on the championship, and remains optimistic about his chances of moving up to IndyCars.
“Obviously, the ovals were new to me last year and, while we did OK, I really wanted to improve," he said. "We finished every oval on the podium with the exception of Iowa, where we had an issue in qualifying. I think the big thing is that now I am at a level where I would feel really comfortable jumping into an IndyCar on an oval, and that's obviously a big factor in moving up!
"I certainly think that my on-track performances have shown that I'm ready to make that step. And it's been good to see how much the IndyCar teams pay attention to what's happening in Indy Lights. But, let's be frank here, the budget is still the number one factor. We started working hard months ago and I still have a lot of faith in the approach we're taking. I would say I'm optimistic and that we're working harder than ever to make it happen. I want nothing more than to be an IZOD IndyCar driver in 2011!”