Welcome back to a full-time NTT IndyCar Series career, James Hinchcliffe. The Canadian completes Andretti Autosport’s season-long roster, and will pilot the No. 29 Honda with primary sponsorship from Genesys, which made its debut with Hinchcliffe in June at the Texas Motor Speedway.
“To think how quickly it’s gone from three races to getting me back as a full-time driver is incredible and amazing, and obviously I wouldn’t be here without Genesys,” Hinchcliffe told RACER.com. “It all started with an Instagram message and it’s blossomed into a great relationship that’s got me fired up about 2021.”
A 10-year IndyCar veteran, Hinchcliffe returns to the team where he found the most success, scoring half of his six career victories with Andretti in 2013. During his first stint with the outfit, Hinchcliffe amassed seven podium finishes and achieved career bests of eighth in the 2012 and 2013 drivers’ championships.
He departed after the 2014 season and spend the next five years leading the team known now as Arrow McLaren SP. Three more wins, 10 podiums, and a best of 10th in the standings was recorded before he split unexpectedly with the team at the end 2019.
He worked for NBC last season while making six starts for Andretti, and some wondered if television was going to replace racing in 2021.
“Well, I wasn’t supposed to be a part-time driver last year so nothing has changed in my mind,” he replied. “I like working with NBC, but I’ve still got a lot of racing in me.”
And getting back to a full-time role for the former Indy 500 pole-sitter figures to make things better.
“To not be in the car every weekend makes so much difference and it’s so much more challenging today than 10 years ago because we just keep adding quality drivers to the series,” he continued. “There is no substitute for racing every week, and I’m looking forward to getting back in a rhythm with one of the best teams in the paddock.”
Through Hinchcliffe’s ongoing efforts to find funding to create a new opportunity, the most unlikely of circumstances – a direct message inquiry from call center software provider Genesys – led to an expanding relationship that will see the tech firm take the primary sponsorship role this season.
“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,” said Tony Bates, CEO of Genesys. “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.”
Hinchcliffe joins a retooled Andretti squad, which has dropped from five full-time entries to four with teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, and Colton Herta. Marco Andretti is slated to appear for the Indianapolis 500.
“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,” said Andretti Autosport Chairman & CEO Michael Andretti. “This is just the first step in many exciting things for the No. 29 and we know Genesys will be a great partner serving as the cornerstone to the season for James.”