TORONTO – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today that Verizon IndyCar Series veteran Sebastian Saavedra will drive the team’s No. 7 Honda at this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto.
Saavedra has driven in 62 races in a Verizon IndyCar Series career that began in 2010, including this year’s Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, where he finished 15th for Juncos Racing. Mikhail Aleshin has driven the No. 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry in the first 11 races of the 2017, but missed the opening day of practice for the KOHLER Grand Prix on June 23 when visa issues prevented the Russian from re-entering the United States.
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The statement from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – co-owned by Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson – added that Saavedra will have sponsorship support from longtime supporter Gary Peterson and AFS.
"We welcome the opportunity to compete with Ric and Sam at a venue where Seb and I have had great success in the past," Gary Peterson said.
Saavedra, 27, will be reunited this weekend with Blair Perschbacher, who was his race engineer in Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires – the top level of the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires development ladder. The duo teamed to win the Indy Lights race at Toronto in 2010 with Andretti Autosport. Saavedra also finished second in the 2012 Indy Lights race at Toronto.
Saavedra’s last Verizon IndyCar Series race on a temporary street course came at Toronto in 2015 when he drove for Chip Ganassi Racing and finished 16th. The Colombian's best finish on a street course was eighth place at Baltimore in 2013, when he drove for Dragon Racing.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports said Aleshin will be at Toronto this weekend supporting the team, but neither he nor the team will be providing further comment.