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Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Pre-Race Notes & Quotes: Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix


Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Desert Diamond West Valley Grand Prix

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Pre-Race Notes & Quotes: Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix

Monica Hilton
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
30 March 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Race Fast Facts

  • Verizon IndyCar Series drivers: James Hinchcliffe (No. 5 Arrow Electronics), Mikhail Aleshin (No. 7 SMP Racing)
  • Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires drivers: RC Enerson (No. 7), Andre Negrao (No. 17), Santiago Urrutia (No. 55), Heamin Choi (No. 77)
  • Event title: Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix
  • Location: Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Track: Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), one-mile, low-banked, tri-oval racetrack in Avondale, AZ
  • 2016 event counter: The Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix is the 2nd race (of 16) for the Verizon IndyCar Series, and the 3rd race (of 18) for Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires


  • Verizon IndyCar Series Track Activity
    Practice sessions: Friday, April 1 from 10:00-11:15 a.m. MT and 6:15-6:45 p.m.
    Qualifying: Friday, April 1 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. MT
    Race: Saturday, April 2 with pre-race activities beginning at approximately 5:30 p.m. MT and an estimated green flag at 6:15 p.m.

    Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Track Activity
    Practice sessions: Friday, April 1 from 9:00-9:45 a.m. MT and 1:00-1:45 p.m.
    Qualifying: Friday, April 1 from 4:30-5:15 p.m. MT
    Race: Saturday, April 2 from 1:30-2:15 p.m. MT

    Broadcast Information
    TV race broadcast (USA): NBC Sports Network
    Race broadcast (radio): IMS Radio Network, XM 209 and Sirius 212

    IndyCar Quotes:
    James Hinchcliffe (No. 5)

    "It's really great that INDYCAR got such a historic venue like Phoenix back on the calendar. I remember watching PIR races on TV as a kid, so it will be cool now to get to battle it out there. And it will be a battle! Based on what we saw at the open test, it will be a tight race, very physical, very hot... and I don't care if it's a dry heat! Track position will be key but we have a great Arrow Electronics car and some of the best strategists on pit lane, so hopefully we can get the No. 5 up front."
    Mikhail Aleshin (No. 7)
    "We had a good start to the 2016 IndyCar season with a fifth place finish in St. Pete. I'm very excited about the first oval race of the season at Phoenix. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to be there for the test but I will do my best to bring the SMP Racing No. 7 car to the front."

    Indy Lights Quotes:
    RC Enerson (No. 7)

    "Phoenix is a great track and we were quick in testing. I'm looking forward to redemption after St Pete."

    Andre Negrao (No. 17)
    "For the race in Phoenix, I'm aiming for an even better performance than St. Pete. The break gave me time to focus and train to try to reach a podium finish. I'll give my best and put all efforts to obtain the best result and hopefully make everyone proud."

    Santiago Urrutia (No. 55)
    "We had a good test in Phoenix, so we have a good chance to win and do better than we did at St. Petersburg."

    Heamin Choi (No. 77)
    "I'm so excited to back in the Indy Lights championship. I will be focusing on oval track races this season. The track at Phoenix is a small and simple layout but it is tricky to have high speed consistently every lap. I am very happy to work with the SPM team, as well as my driver coach Bob and engineer Eric. I learned a lot from them and still have a lot to learn. There are also so many talented drivers in this season from Europe and America and I'm proud to be competing amongst them. World Luxury Group Korea, Mudshake (Independent Liquor Korea) and Pocket Mobile have joined my "Indy 500 Campaign" this year and I look forward in their interest for American open wheel races."

    Team Social Media
    Website: www.SPMindycar.com
    Twitter: @SPMindycar
    Instagram: @SPMindycar
    Facebook: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
    SnapChat: @SPMindycar
    Periscope: @SPMindycar

    Driver Social Media
    James Hinchcliffe
    Website - www.Hinchtown.com
    Twitter - @hinchtown
    Facebook - Hinchtown
    Instagram - @hinchtown

    Mikhail Aleshin
    Twitter - @MikhailAleshin
    Facebook - Mikhail Aleshin

    RC Enerson
    Website - www.RCenerson.com
    Twitter - @RCenerson
    Facebook - RC Enerson Racing
    Instagram - @RCenerson

    Santiago Urrutia
    Website - www.SantiUrrutia.com.uy
    Twitter - @Santi_Urrutia
    Facebook - Santiago Urrutia Oficial

    Andre Negrao
    Website - www.AndreNegrao.com
    Twitter - @NegraoAndre
    Facebook - Andre.Negrao
    Instagram - @anegrao

    Heamin Choi
    Website - www.F1Pilot.com
    Twitter - @HeaminChoi
    Instagram - @HeaminChoi
    Facebook - HeaminChoi

    Scott Anderson
    Website - www.ScottAndersonRacing.com
    Twitter - @ScottDKAnderson
    Facebook - Official Scott Anderson Racing
    Instagram - @scanders01

    Fan Opportunities

  • Verizon IndyCar Series autograph session with James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin: Friday, April 1 from 4:15-5:00 p.m. MT in the INDYCAR Fan Village.
  • Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires autograph session with RC Enerson, Santiago Urrutia, Andre Negrao and Heamin Choi: Friday, April 1 from 3:00-3:30 p.m. MT in the INDYCAR Fan Village.


  • About Schmidt Peterson Motorsports:
    Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) was established in 2001 and is owned by former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt and Canadian businessman Ric Peterson. Schmidt was paralyzed (quad) in 2000 after an accident during testing at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. SPM fields cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, and the Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires. SPM is the most successful team in Indy Lights Series history with sixty-five race wins and seven championships. In addition, SPM won the coveted Indianapolis 500 pole position in 2011 for the 100th Anniversary and 2016 for the 100th Running, and has won five Verizon IndyCar Series races between 2013 and 2015. For more information, please visit www.SPMindycar.com.

    About Conquer Paralysis Now:
    Conquer Paralysis Now is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization with a mission to cure paralysis, formerly known as the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. The organization is leading the charge for a cure through funding scientific research, medical treatment and technological advances benefiting those paralyzed by spinal cord injuries, stroke or diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's or in other ways. For more information, visit conquerparalysisnow.org.

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