Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe who drives the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and German Touring Car Championship driver Robert Wickens were at the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports race shop on Thursday for a very special announcement.
During a Verizon IndyCar Series test on February 28 at Sebring International Raceway, Wickens will drive the Mayor Of HinchTown’s No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda.
Following the opening Verizon IndyCar Series race, the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg next month, Hinch will travel to the Vallelunga circuit near Rome, Italy where he will test Wickens’ Mercedes DTM car with the test taking place on March 17th.
Speaking about the news, Hinchcliffe commented by saying:
This whole thing is something that Robbie and I have joked about for a long time because, frankly, we weren’t sure it was ever going to happen. “We both had an interest in kind of sharing our series with each other, and we kept talking about it. We decided we were going to try and take a swing at it, talked to all parties involved and amazingly it all worked out.
Wickens who will drive the No.5 Arrow Honda that The Mayor drove to pole position for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil commented by saying:
James and I have been friends for years and this ride swap is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. “We’ve seen some other drivers do it in the past – Formula One and NASCAR and all that – and we thought it would be a cool opportunity to do with DTM and INDYCAR. It wasn’t easy planning it and making everything work, but I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of driving his car. Everything aligned and here we are.
Hinchcliffe went on to say:
It’s just a cool story; you’ve got two kids that grew up racing go-karts in Ontario. “Fast forward a decade and a half, and here we are both professional racing drivers. To be able to get to do this, and share it with each other, is going to be awesome.
Hinchcliffe who has had a very busy off season competing in Dancing With the Stars, the Daytona 24 Hours and the Race of Champions concluded by saying:
Robbie comes from a single-seater background so he’s raced at one level below INDYCAR and he’s going to know roughly what he’s getting himself into. “It’s been a while, so I think it’s going to be a big wakeup call, and I think he’ll be very impressed with what the Indy car has to offer. For me, I’m going to a country I’ve never raced in, on a track I’ve never been to, in a type of car I’ve only seen in person, so I think it’s going to be a much bigger culture shock for me. We’re just both super excited and thankful to all the parties involved for making it happen.
The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season gets underway with the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg from March 10-12.
(Video courtesy of the Verizon IndyCar Series via Youtube.com)