INDIANAPOLIS – official team release — IndyCar photo —
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has announced that Mikhail Aleshin will rejoin the team for the upcoming test at Sonoma Raceway on Thursday, Aug. 20 and the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale on Sunday, August 30.
The 28-year-old, Russian driver competed last year with SPM and will pilot the No. 77 SMP Racing Honda car.
“I’m very happy to come back to IndyCar,” said Aleshin. “It’s a great competition, and means a lot to come back to my American family and to race in front of the great fans. I want to say thank you to SMP Racing, Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson for giving me this opportunity.
“I really like Sonoma Raceway. It’s a great, fast track with multiple technical corners. I had good results when I was there last season. It’s not always easy to take part in the last race of such a strong championship year, and the car is different from last year, but it was never easy during my career so I guarantee that I will do my best.”
The race in Sonoma will be Aleshin’s first IndyCar event since being injured in a crash last season during practice at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. He suffered multiple injuries during the crash, including a concussion, fractured ribs and a broken right clavicle.
“We’re really excited to have Mikhail back for the season finale. We all feel we have unfinished business from 2014, so I’m pleased that we could put this deal together,” said team owner Sam Schmidt.
Aleshin will spend the full day in the car for the Sonoma test on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn, natural-terrain road course. SPM Indy Lights driver Jack Harvey will make his IndyCar testing debut, splitting the day with veteran SPM IndyCar driver Ryan Briscoe in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car.
“First of all, I need to thank everyone at SPM and Racing Steps Foundation for making this test happen,” said Harvey. “This kind of opportunity is everything I’ve been working for since I was nine years old in go-karting. I want to give a good account of myself, and show the team I’m ready and capable for a full-time IndyCar ride. The test will be the best time to prove it.”
CREDIT: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports