For the first time since Newman Haas closed its doors early last month, its outcast drivers James Hinchcliffe and Oriol Servià are set to find new homes: Hinchcliffe being confirmed today at Andretti Autosports, while Servià is expected to be announced as a driver at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
Hinchcliffe was strongly rumoured to be the number-one target for the hardest seat in motorsports to fill, that being the GoDaddy.com entry originally awarded to the late Dan Wheldon just prior to his fatal accident in Las Vegas three months ago.
‘Hinch’ is widely regarded as being excellent with sponsors, personifying the clean-cut, friendly and personable look that PR departments love working with, and he is clearly the ideal spokesman for GoDaddy.com to replace the NASCAR-bound Danica Patrick.
Servià, on the other hand, was judged by many to be the star of the 2011 season, taking his Newman Haas entry to fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, much higher than many expected him to be, and it did his stock as a driver no harm at all.
For this, along with years of experience, the Spaniard has been actively courted by a number of teams, but so far has remained unsigned. This could change with the news that he is likely to join Dreyer & Reinbold for next season.
Rumours of who his team-mate might be have included the chance he may partner the returning Katherine Legge.
Facing the chop would be incumbent driver Ana Beatriz, however her sponsorship dollars may enable her to find a home with Conquest Racing, who would appreciate the financial boost brought by Beatriz.
[Article by Matt Lennon; images via Motorsport.com, Paddock Talk and USA Today]