RACER ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (IZOD INDYCAR SERIES)
If ever a driver seemed to belong in the IZOD IndyCar Series from the moment he made his debut, it's “Hinch.” Qualifying eighth for his first race showed his innate speed, but it was his work with Newman/Haas Racing race engineer Craig Hampson, his openness with his fast and experienced teammate Oriol Servia, and his absorbing of technical details that ensured Hinchcliffe maintained this momentum through the year.
As Hampson noted midseason, “Compared to 15 years ago, when an IndyCar rookie would get thousands of test miles before his first race, it's unfair on James. He hasn't gotten any solid testing under his belt. Every race weekend, we throw something new at him, but he's unflappable.”
It's terribly sad that an acid economy dissolved this combination of talents, but we're sure James will flourish at Andretti Autosport.
RACER ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – THE VOTING
James Hinchliffe 39%
Trevor Bayne 20%
JR Hildebrand 11%
The rest… 30%
“How cool is this? I'm shocked and honored. The rookie class through the whole of motorsports was very strong in 2011, so to come out ahead of guys like Trevor, Paul and JR is fantastic. Plus, it looks like I'm the first IndyCar driver to win this, which is an added bonus! A big thanks to RACER for putting this on, but even more to the readers who voted.”
HALL OF FAME:
ROAD RACER OF THE YEAR DRAG RACER OF THE YEAR
1995 Michael Schumacher 1995 Scott Kalitta
1996 Alex Zanardi 1996 Blaine Johnson
1997 Tommy Kendall 1997 Joe Amato
1998 Alex Zanardi 1998 Joe Amato
1999 Dario Franchitti 1999 John Force
2000 Michael Schumacher 2000 John Force
2001 Michael Schumacher 2001 John Force
2002 Cristiano da Matta 2002 John Force
2003 Michael Schumacher 2003 Kenny Bernstein
2004 Sebastien Bourdais 2004 John Force
2005 Fernando Alonso 2005 Tony Schumacher
2006 Sebastien Bourdais 2006 John Force
2007 Lewis Hamilton 2007 John Force
2008 Scott Pruett 2008 John Force
2009 Jenson Button 2009 Tony Schumacher
2010 Will Power 2010 John Force
Thursday, we'll be announcing the winners of the Editors' Choice Awards, decided by the editorial team of RACER and RACER.com, celebrating excellence in design, team work and on-track entertainment.
For more in-depth coverage and analysis of the 17th annual RACER of the Year presented by Mobil 1, including reaction from all of our big winners and our Editors' Choice Awards results, make sure you check out the March issue of RACER magazine. Not a subscriber?
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This year, we are proud and excited to once again welcome Mobil 1 as the presenting partner of RACER of the Year.
Like all of the candidates for RACER of the Year, the family of Mobil 1 fully synthetic lubricants is competition proven in the most challenging race series in the world, including Formula 1 and NASCAR.
Mobil 1 competes not just to win races, but to test its lubricants in the most demanding environments in order to develop cutting-edge products that benefit customers in their everyday road cars. Mobil 1 is designed to exceed industry performance specifications and continues to set new standards in lubrication technology.
To find out more on Mobil 1 in racing, and how its lubricants can benefit your road car, go to mobil1.com.