Schmidt trio of Aleshin, Razia, Harvey complete first oval tests

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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.

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.

Meanwhile Jack Harvey, who is confirmed, and Luiz Razia, who appears all but confirmed to SPM’s Lights cars, had their first runs on the oval.

Razia, who was named to Marussia’s F1 team in 2013 before sponsorship fell through, was quite excited after his first run.

Harvey was a little more measured, but still pleased.

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.

Fernando Alonso unsure when he will chase Triple Crown at Indy 500

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LE CASTELLET, France (AP) — Still glowing from his win at the 24 Hours Le Mans, Fernando Alonso says he is not sure when he will try to complete motorsport’s unofficial Triple Crown with a victory at the Indianapolis 500.

Alonso says Thursday ahead of Formula One’s French Grand Prix that “I am still digesting a little bit the Le Mans win and (.) not taking too much into account (for) next year’s project.”

The two-time F1 world champion won the Le Mans classic endurance race last weekend together with teammates Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi.

That leaves the Spaniard only one leg short of completing the Triple Crown of wins at Le Mans, Indy 500 and F1’s Monaco GP, which he has won twice.

Alonso raced the Indy 500 for the first time last year but an engine failure with 20 laps left ruined his chances.