I don’t believe in fate or destiny, but I understand why others might. Sometimes, seemingly unrelated circumstances coincide so perfectly to form a singular result that it’s difficult to not believe in an unseen and powerful guidance shaping the outcome.
Like many Canadians of a similar background and age to my own, I loved open-wheel racing before I even understood that it was open-wheel racing that I loved. Also, like many Canadians of a similar background and age to my own, my love for North America’s premier source for open-wheel racing came to an abrupt halt in the mid-nineties when the departure of Jacques Villeneuve from the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series conspired with the introduction of the Indy Racing League (IRL) – and subsequent desecration of the Indy 500 – to reduce the relevance of the sport on the entire continent.
Eighteen years later, the IndyCar Series is haunted by this past, even as it strives to return to a time when its brand of racing attracted new fans and captivated long-time supporters. Leading the charge to fight these ghosts and bring the sport back to an era of increased public interest is a 26-year-old driver from Oakville, Ontario – James Hinchcliffe.