LE MANS, France – Considering Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has been in the news a lot lately, it’s worth checking in on one of its previous drivers who is racing this weekend.
Russian rookie Mikhail Aleshin dazzled at times during a mostly solid, occasionally turbulent first year in the Verizon IndyCar Series last year.
But his accident at Auto Club Speedway last August sidelined him for a couple months, and reported financial issues halted progress between SMP Racing, Aleshin’s backer, and SPM, his team, in order for the pair to continue together for a second season.
Aleshin is focused solely on his SMP Racing commitments in the European Le Mans Series this year, and at this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans where the Russian-entered BR01 Nissan makes its second race start in the LMP2 class.
Still, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t miss IndyCar.
“Oh definitely. I miss racing in IndyCar for sure,” Aleshin told MotorSportsTalk during scrutineering at Le Mans.
It was interesting to check in with him after Texas, a race he finished an impressive seventh in last year and a race where SPM’s 2015 drivers, Ryan Briscoe and James Jakes, ended eighth and ninth.
“I didn’t get to see the race this year. I saw the results. Texas was fun,” he said.
Then his eyes lit up.
“I like ovals. A lot,” he admitted.
Will he be back? It’s not for a lack of desire.
“Definitely. One day I’m gonna come back there for sure. I’m gonna kick some ass.”