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Aleshin: Back with my family in IndyCar

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Mikhail Aleshin feels like he is back with his racing family as he prepares to return to the Verizon IndyCar Series full-time in 2016 with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Aleshin made his IndyCar debut in 2014 with Sam Schmidt’s team, scoring a breakthrough podium finish in Houston en route to 16th place in the final standings.

However, Aleshin turned his focus to endurance racing in 2015 with Russian outfit SMP Racing in the European Le Mans Series where he raced in the LMP2 class.

A one-off run with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports came at the IndyCar season finale at Sonoma where he finished tenth, and Aleshin has since secured the second seat at the team for 2016 alongside James Hinchcliffe.

Writing in his ‘driver debrief’ for the IndyCar website, Aleshin explained how he felt he had returned to his family in the series after a year away.

“I feel like I am back with my family again,” Aleshin said. “After being away from the Verizon IndyCar Series for almost all of 2015, it is great to know I will be with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports again next season, and for the whole season.

“We tested last week at Sebring and it just makes me more excited for 2016. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports is a very good team and we had a great experience together in 2014.

“Together with SMP Racing, my sponsor in Russia who has a great racing program in many series, we thought that it would be great to come back to IndyCar. I’m very happy that we could put it all together so I can become be a part of this team again. They are all like a family to me.”

Aleshin admitted that he was surprised by the levels of downforce offered by the new aero kits, but is excited to be returning to front-line single-seater racing on a full-time basis.

“I can’t wait to get back full-time in the Verizon IndyCar Series,” Aleshin said. “I have no words, only emotions because I am so excited. It’s really one of the best and most competitive series I’ve been to. So it’s really great to be back, as I feel I have huge potential to show up here.

“I was able to drive in the last race this season at Sonoma, so I did get some experience with the new aero kits.

“I was very surprised on the ’15 kit’s downforce level when I did the final race in Sonoma. The car became faster and more physical to drive, which makes it even more challenging for drivers, which makes me even more interested to drive.

“Driving an Indy car is real racing, which you don’t see so often in these days, and I’m very happy to take this challenge!”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”