IndyCar: Schmidt Peterson plays up the “Frenchman and a Russian in Texas” joke

2 Comments

This is the point in the season that is almost as grinding for media members and team PR representatives as it is for the crews in the Verizon IndyCar Series, but sometimes, humor still finds a way into press releases.

Case in point, the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ team advance for this weekend, highlighting the culture shock of its drivers – Frenchman Simon Pagenaud and Russian Mikhail Aleshin – visiting Texas Motor Speedway for this weekend’s Firestone 600.

“A Frenchman and a Russian walk into Texas Motor Speedway, looking for six-shooters and a cowboy hat in victory circle.

“It sounds like the start to a bad joke, but Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) drivers Simon Pagenaud and Mikhail Aleshin enter the Firestone 600 race weekend with one serious goal: victory on the 1.5-mile oval on Saturday night, June 7,” says the start of the team’s pre-race press release.

Adding to the joke, both Aleshin and series PR director Mike Kitchel took it a step further with posts on Twitter.

Here’s Aleshin with some heavy artillery:

And here’s Kitchel posting a pic of Pagenaud with the Fort Worth SWAT team:

Everything’s bigger in Texas… even the jokes.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”