At 20, Hinchcliffe is a vet behind the mic One of the first things all sports TV analysts do the second they get the job is to vow on their mothers' lives that they will "call it the way I see it."
But because they've got too many friends still competing or hopes of getting into management, they seldom do. That's what makes yesterday's performance by Toronto's James Hinchcliffe so amazing. Not that this kid is short on the amazing stuff.
Hinchcliffe is a 20-year-old driver on the Champ Car Atlantic Series. In a situation that could only happen in a television-challenged series like Champ Car, he is also the TV analyst for the world feed – the one normally seen outside Canada and the U.S.
When Global opted to carry the world feed for the three Canadian races, mainly for economic reasons rather than nationalistic ones, they allowed fans here to see one of their own call the national events. (A Canadian working on a Canadian race broadcast. Imagine that.)
Having a minor league driver work a major event like the Mont-Tremblant Grand Prix is amazing enough. Imagine a rookie from Syracuse calling a Blue Jays game.
Even more amazing is that Hinchcliffe is not only polished, he's not afraid to call it the way he sees it, even though you might think a driver might be worried about saying negative stuff about people he might soon be bumping fenders with.
But when runner-up Sebastien Bourdais whined about being blocked by winner Robert Doornbos, Hinchcliffe did his best Johnny Miller. "He's not as good a loser as he is a winner," he said.
Earlier, he had a back-handed compliment for fellow Canadian Paul Tracy: "He may not follow directions all the time, but when he's told to push he's going to be laying the hammer down." More at The Star