Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced earlier this week that they have signed Canadian DTM driver Robert Wickens for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series while also agreeing a multi-year contract extension with James Hinchcliffe.
The pair grew up racing go-karts together in Canadian and while Wickens moved to Europe to pursue a career in Formula One before moving to the DTM, the Mayor of HinchTown concentrated on racing in North America which led to a career in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Wickens drove for Mercedes in the DTM and also tested in Formula One but with Mercedes pulling out of DTM at the end of next season he was in search for a new stable and that is where Hinchcliffe and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports came in.
Wickens got his first taste of what IndyCar is like earlier this year when drove Hinchcliffe’s No.5 Arrow Honda at an open Verizon IndyCar Series test at Sebring International Raceway while Hinch drove a DTM car just after the start of the IndyCar season.
The pair remained close over the years and their friendship off track will now transfer on track and it is something that Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson will be hoping pays off for the team when it comes to results on track in 2018.
Hinchcliffe has five Verizon IndyCar Series victories to his name, the most recent of which came at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach at the start of the season and has one career Verizon P1 Award which came at the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in 2016.
Hinch has been with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for several seasons and knows the team inside out and this will prove to be extremely beneficial to Wickens in his rookie season in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018 as it will allow him to get up to speed in no time at all as he already knows the team well having conducted the pre-season test and also filled in for Mikhail Aleshin during a free practice session.