Mikhail Aleshin returns to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for 2017 run

Chris Owens/INDYCAR

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

“The Mad Russian” will be back for 2017.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced Wednesday that Mikhail Aleshin will return to the Indianapolis-based team’s No. 7 Honda for the upcoming Verizon IndyCar Series (VICS) season.

A native of Moscow, Russia, Aleshin will return from his home country over the next week to join teammate James Hinchcliffe for a Feb. 7 private test session at Sonoma Raceway.

“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 in a release. “With the Russian flag on my car, and with James (Hinchcliffe) and the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports crew, I will push hard to bring more poles and hopefully victories in 2017.”

Aleshin, 29, has two podiums and a pole in 35-career VICS starts, with a career-best finish of second at both Houston (2014) and Pocono Raceway (2016). The third-year IndyCar driver also boasts championships in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2010), and the Formula Renault 2.0 Italy Series (2004).

The Russian led a career-best 120 laps and tallied a lone podium and pole en-route to a 15th-place finish in the VICS standings in 2016.

“We are thrilled to have Mikhail back for 2017,” Schmidt Peterson Motorsports co-owner Sam Schmidt 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.”

The 2017 IndyCar schedule will begin with the Mar. 12 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

 

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