Mikhail Aleshin is relishing the opportunity to return to racing with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the Verizon IndyCar Series at this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Aleshin raced full-time for SPM in 2014, picking up a podium finish in Houston en route to 16th place in the final standings.
The Russian did not return for 2015, but did race for SMP Racing – a similarly-named but unrelated Russian-backed sportscar team – at the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in June.
After telling MotorSportsTalk that he wanted to return to IndyCar someday and “kick some ass”, Aleshin’s return with SPM was confirmed three weeks ago, which also incorporated a test at Sonoma.
With his return to racing in IndyCar now just days away, Aleshin is geared up for the weekend ahead.
“I’m very happy to be back in IndyCar for the Sonoma race with a great team like Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and SMP Racing,” Aleshin said.
“I had such an interesting season here last year with this team. I enjoyed all the new tracks and it was very different from racing in Europe.
“It was a long journey to make it up here again and I will use this opportunity to give it 100 per cent of my effort.”
Aleshin is dedicating his appearance in this weekend’s race to Justin Wilson, who died on Monday after sustaining severe head injuries in last Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.
“I would like to dedicate this race to the memory of Justin Wilson, who was a great race driver, man and father,” Aleshin said. “I will miss him a lot.”
The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma is live on NBCSN from 4pm on Sunday.