Sam Schmidt’s IndyCar and Indy Lights teams ventured to Homestead-Miami Speedway this week for a pair of oval tests, to give three drivers their first crack at an oval.
On Tuesday, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports IndyCar rookie Mikhail Aleshin took his official oval rookie test.
The Russian passed with flying colors, and, judging by the tweets below, he seemed happy with the experience.
— Mikhail Aleshin (@mikhailaleshin) January 30, 2014
— Mikhail Aleshin (@mikhailaleshin) January 29, 2014
On Thursday, the team’s Indy Lights program took to Homestead with three drivers. Tristan Vautier, who Aleshin replaces in IndyCar, is still proving an invaluable asset to both SPM and the series as he spent the day doing tire testing for Cooper Tire. Cooper replaces Firestone as Indy Lights’ tire partner, and will also serve as the series’ presnting sponsor in 2014.
Razia, who was named to Marussia’s F1 team in 2013 before sponsorship fell through, was quite excited after his first run.
My first experience on Oval, was like ::: WOWOWOWWWWWWWW!!!!THIS S*** GOT REAL…. Man what a crazy think to love it. Bring on!!!
— Luiz Razia (@luizrazia) January 30, 2014
Harvey was a little more measured, but still pleased.
Back in the UK again after my first oval test, loved it 😀 what an awesome experience!!!! Has to be one of the best feelings ever
— Jack Harvey (@jack_harvey42) January 31, 2014
Where Harvey and Razia, assuming he’s confirmed, will stack up on the ovals remain to be seen. Jack Hawksworth, another Englishman who won three races in 2013 for SPM’s Lights organization, struggled to match up versus teammates Sage Karam and Gabby Chaves on the five oval events.