Mikhail Aleshin will head back Stateside for 2016, having been confirmed Wednesday as Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ second IndyCar driver and with SMP Racing support.
Aleshin raced the full 2014 season in IndyCar, but saw his season cut short by one race following a harrowing accident in practice at Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway. He missed that race, but came back for a one-off drive in a third car at Sonoma this year.
He spent the majority of 2015 with SMP Racing in both the European Le Mans Series and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the team also making an appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship season finale at Bahrain, under the AF Racing banner.
Aleshin’s departure from the sports car side of SMP leaves at least one extra seat open in one of the BR01 Nissans for the full season. Memo Rojas has tested the car already in the last month, and others could be in consideration.
However, the IndyCar schedule does not have a clash on Le Mans weekend (June 18-19), so Aleshin could be available for that and/or SMP’s planned entry into the Rolex 24 at Daytona, as Sportscar365 revealed last month.