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SPM, Hinchcliffe, Petro-Canada Lubricants relationship extended

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Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced Wednesday that it has extended an agreement with Petro-Canada Lubricants as an associate sponsor on James Hinchcliffe’s No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

The Canadian lubricant company firm first partnered with SPM and Hinchcliffe last season. It will continue that role for all of 2017 with enhanced branding on Hinchcliffe’s race car as well as other SPM team assets.

“From the outset last year, one of the drivers behind my partnership with Petro-Canada Lubricants was being able to proudly represent a Canadian company which has a unique reach across North America,” Hinchcliffe, a native of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, said in a media release.

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Added SPM co-owner and Canadian Ric Peterson, “We are extremely happy to have Petro-Canada Lubricants on board with us again in 2017. Their increased relationship with us this season continues to show the value of our race team has in the IndyCar Series; that is something we are very proud of.”

Hinchcliffe enters his seventh season in the IndyCar Series in 2017. He has four series wins: St. Petersburg, Sao Paulo and Iowa (all in 2013) and New Orleans (2015).

He also earned the pole for last season’s milestone 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

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Gabby Chaves to sub for Joao Barbosa at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

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Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.

The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.

Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.

“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”

Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”

Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.

The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.

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