Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach winner James Hinchcliffe says that his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports outfit will prepare Jay Howard as best as they can as the 36 year old Brit prepares to participate in the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Howard will drive the No.77 Team One Cure Tony Stewart Foundation backed Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, joining Schmidt Peterson’s full-time Verizon IndyCar Series pairing of James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin.
It has been six years since Howard has driven a Verizon IndyCar Series machine but he is excited to be getting back behind the wheel.
The Mayor of HinchTown who took pole position for the Indianapolis 500 last year commented on Howard’s preparation by saying:
He’s definitely got a steep learning curve. “He’s been out of the race car for a long time, but we’re going to try and prepare him the best we can. Obviously, we need all Schmidt Peterson Motorsports cars running as strong as possible. We proved last year that the team prepares good cars and we’ve got fast cars at the speedway.
“We’ll get him up to speed. Luckily he’s got nothing else on his plate right now, so he’s focused already 100 percent on the month of May and we’re feeding him as much information as we can to make sure that he’s in the best position as possible.
Howard has yet to drive the Dallara IR-12 but is hoping to take part in a refresher test before practice for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Howard is excited to get the opportunity to compete alongside double Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso.
It’s going to be great (to race against Alonso). “To be honest, I thought it was April Fools when I saw it, but then I started seeing it pop up on a lot of credible publications. It’s amazing. It’s phenomenal for INDYCAR, for the Indy 500. It’s going to bring huge exposure. I’m sure there’s going to be more viewers tuning in on race day, not just here in the U.S., but worldwide. A lot of people are going to want to see how he does.