Canadian James Hinchcliffe will take on Ryan Lochte on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe.
IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe. AP Photo/Andre Penner

Canadian IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe is taking a lap around the dance floor.

The 29-year-old Oakville, Ont., native will appear on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars.

“This is definitely going to be a unique experience for me,” Hinchcliffe said Tuesday on a conference call. “Definitely outside my comfort zone.”

He also shared the news on Twitter.

ABC says Hinchcliffe’s partner will be professional dancer Sharna Burgess.

“Sharna definitely has her work cut out for her,” Hinchcliffe said. “But I’ve got the competitive spirit, and IndyCar drivers have a pretty good record on this show.”

Former IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves appeared on the show twice, winning in the fifth season with partner Julianne Hough.

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“I spoke to Helio at length before I committed to doing the show,” Hinchcliffe said. “Having a friend and colleague who had been through it was a huge benefit to me. He thoroughly enjoyed it, so much he went back a second time.

“He warned me about the amount of work, but said that it’s going to be an awful lot of fun.”

Hinchcliffe was scheduled to have his first practice with Burgess on Tuesday. With two races left in the IndyCar season, he will have to balance the demands of his day job with his Dancing With the Stars schedule.

“The first two episodes are going to be the biggest challenge scheduling-wise, but once we clear Sonoma and clear Episode 2, if I remain on the show, then I’ll have a much freer schedule and will be able to dedicate 100 per cent of myself to learning and improving and being competitive.”

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Other stars on the roster this season include controversial American swimmer Ryan Lochte, former NFL receiver Calvin Johnson Jr., former Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick, former Texas governor Rick Perry and rapper Vanilla Ice.

“I’m hoping to get to know some of them, and hopefully they’re not awesome dancers,” Hinchcliffe said.

The 23rd season of the show premieres Sept. 12.

Hinchcliffe was the 2011 IndyCar Series rookie of the year and has four victories over six seasons.

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