The familiar two-car operation at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will return for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The team announced this morning that Mikhail Aleshin will be back full-time in the No. 7 Honda.
The 29-year old Russian is back for his third season with Sam Schmidt’s team, as he will once again work alongside James Hinchcliffe. He finished two spots behind James in the championship standings last season, and nearly earned his first win at Mid-Ohio. He was able to capture his first career Pole at Pocono, where he finished second in the race.
As a Rookie in 2014, Aleshin recorded 7 top-ten finishes, including a runner-up at Houston. After recovering from his serious injuries at Fontana, he rejoined the SPM team for the final race of the 2015 season. There, he out-qualified the team’s other two cars, and recorded yet another top ten. All 34 of his IndyCar starts have been with SPM.
“Thanks to both the SMP Racing program and our American team, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, I am to keep fighting for even better results this season in IndyCar,” Aleshin said. “With the Russian flag on my car, and with James and the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports crew, I will push hard to bring more poles and hopefully victories in 2017.”
Schmidt was excited to have Mikhail back on his team for another season. “We are thrilled to have Mikhail back for 2017,” he stated. “We know he is capable of winning races and competing for the Championship. This also means we have maintained continuity across drivers, engineering and team member staffing which is critical for success.”
Both Aleshin and Hinchcliffe are scheduled to participate in a Team Test at Sonoma on February 7. Following that will be the Open Test at Phoenix on February 10-11, which will be open to the public on Saturday.