Honda Indy Toronto officials announced on Thursday, May 11 that Oakville, Ontario’s James Hinchcliffe will be the Grand Marshal for the 2015 Honda Indy Toronto. Charlie Johnstone, President of the Honda Indy Toronto, said the decision was the easiest that he had to make recently.
“James is a great friend, he’s our hometown hero; to have him on sight, we’re blessed that his recovery has gone as well as it can,” Johnstone commented on Thursday. “He’s been cleared to be here in Toronto. I think that’s a huge testament to him wanting to be here with his team, with his fellow drivers and his IndyCar family, but also wants he wants to do for the community and his hometown race. To embrace that and have him here as our Grand Marshall, absolutely.”
On May 18, Hinchcliffe was injured when his IndyCar made right-side contact with the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier during practice for the Indianapolis 500. He was transported by ground to IU Health Methodist Hospital, where he underwent upper left thigh and pelvic surgery the same day. He spent some time in the Intensive Care Unit, where doctors determined that no other procedures were necessary. He was released from hospital on May 26 and according to doctors, the 28-year-old will “make a full recovery”.
“I’m looking forward to being back home in Canada and attending the Honda Indy Toronto with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports this weekend,” Hinchcliffe said. “It will be a strange feeling for me not lining up on the grid this year, but being the Grand Marshal is a role I’m honoured to fulfil and I’m excited that I’ll play a role in the proceedings on Sunday.”
Johnstone added that they have been in discussions for this to happen for awhile, with discussions kicking off once official reports were released that Hinchcliffe would make a full recovery.
“We talked to him directly and asked if this would be a consideration,” Johnstone commented. “He said, ‘Yes, I’d love to do it’. This week, it came up that this is what we should do, so we agreed on it earlier this week and agreed to release it this morning. We’re thrilled to have him.”