Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will be all-Canadian in 2018 as the team announced this morning that Oakville’s James Hinchcliffe will return to the team, while Guelph’s Robert Wickens will be added to the team.
“Not only am I really excited to be able to say I’ll be back with SPM for next year and beyond, but I am also really looking forward to being teammates with one of my oldest friends,” Hinchcliffe said. “Robbie and I grew up racing against one another, eventually took different paths, me staying in North America in open-wheel cars and him going off to Europe in sports cars, but it’s pretty neat that we both ended up here and we get to live our dream of being professional racing drivers, together on the same team. I think 2018 is going to be a great year for the SPM organization, from having Robbie here to the team’s new partnership with Honda and the 2018 aero kit; I just can’t wait to get back on track and bring some good results home for the Arrow Electronics crew.”
Wickens, a Mercedes-backed DTM driver, will make the move to IndyCar in 2018, making SPM the first team with an all-Canadian lineup since 2004 when Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier ran as teammates. Wickens participated in a private test for the team last year, and also participated in two practice sessions prior to the race at Road America in place of Mikhail Aleshin.
“This is an entirely new chapter to add to my racing career, and I am really excited for this opportunity that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has given me,” Wickens said. “I think everyone knows the story by now that James and I grew up racing against one another in go karts, and to make it to the largest open-wheel racing series in North America together as teammates, it’s crazy to think about. I am very thankful for the six years I had with everyone at Mercedes and DTM; those are memories I will cherish forever. I can’t wait to truly see what the Verizon IndyCar Series is all about!”
The 28-year-old has six wins, five pole positions and 15 podium finishes in his sports car racing experience.