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Mikhail Aleshin to Drive for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2016

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Mikhail Aleshin

Mikhail Aleshin to Drive for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2016

Monica Hilton
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
December 9, 2015

Indianapolis, IN - December 9, 2015 - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced today that Mikhail Aleshin will rejoin the team for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Season.

The 28-year-old, Russian driver competed with SPM for the full 2014 season and ran in a third car for SPM for the 2015 season finale at Sonoma Raceway, earning an impressive tenth-place finish. He will make his return piloting the No. 7 SMP Racing Honda Indy car.

"I'm very happy about the agreement between Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and the SMP Racing Russian driver development program," said Aleshin. "I had an unbelievable experience with IndyCar in 2014 and I can't wait to be back in this great series. I'm very motivated and one hundred percent ready to win."

Aleshin, the first Russian driver to race in the Verizon IndyCar Series, spent the 2015 season competing for SMP Racing in the European LeMans Series (ELMS) and the final race of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Prior to his 2014 ride with SPM, he competed in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, where he won the 2010 championship.

SPM team owner Sam Schmidt commented, "Ric and I are very pleased to have Mikhail back for a second season with SPM. He was extremely fast in 2014 and we think, given that year of experience and last year competing in ELMS, he will be able to contribute significantly to the program in 2016."

Piers Phillips, SPM's new General Manager added, "Having someone of Mikhail's ability and experience returning to the team for 2016 is a huge plus for us here at SPM. He has undoubted speed, and it is now our job to turn that speed into regular top-five results and a strong championship finish. Mikhail is someone who I have followed throughout his career in Europe. We are delighted to have him back in the SPM family and looking forward to a great 2016."

The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season is scheduled to begin in March, with tentative testing scheduled for December, January and February.

About Schmidt Peterson Motorsports:
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) was established in 2001 and is owned by former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt and Canadian businessman Ric Peterson. Schmidt was paralyzed (quad) in 2000 after an accident during testing at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. SPM fields cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, and the Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires. SPM is the most successful team in Indy Lights Series history with sixty-five race wins and seven championships. In addition, SPM won the coveted Indy 500 pole position in 2011, and has won five Verizon IndyCar Series races between 2013 and 2015.

About Conquer Paralysis Now:
Conquer Paralysis Now is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization with a mission to cure paralysis, formerly known as the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. The organization is leading the charge for a cure through funding scientific research, medical treatment and technological advances benefiting those paralyzed by spinal cord injuries, stroke or diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's or in other ways. For more information, visit conquerparalysisnow.org.

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