#27 James Hinchcliffe
• Team: Andretti Autosport
• Engine: Chevrolet
• Sponsors: GoDaddy.com
• 2012: 8th Place, Two Podiums, Five Top Fives
2012 WRAP: A tough second half put a damper on an otherwise solid season for Hinchcliffe, who rose as high as second in the championship before falling back to eighth after suffering three DNFs in the final seven races. Hinchcliffe notched his first IndyCar podium at Long Beach in April with a third-place result, and equaled that at the Milwaukee Mile. He was also a big hit with the fans, who voted him the series’ most popular driver.
2013 OUTLOOK: Hinchcliffe still has to grab that elusive first win, but he’s now fully acclimated at Andretti Autosport and he’ll be re-united with Craig Hampson, his former engineer at Newman-Haas Racing in his 2011 Rookie of the Year campaign. If he can keep out of trouble, there’s no reason to think he can’t be on the top step of the podium at least once in 2013. And rest assured, if that moment comes in front of his hometown fans in Toronto, they’ll go nuts.
Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.953 mph.
Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.
Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.
The practice was interrupted several times for incidents.
Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.
With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.
“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”
With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.
Dixon also had an off-road excursion.