James Hinchcliffe admitted that his three
seasons at andretti autosport resulted in
win statistics that were slightly bizarre.
That 0-3-0 tally contained extreme highs
and extreme lows, but it certainly didn’t
dent his enthusiasm, nor his eagerness
to take on a challenge. When a chance
came to lead schmidt Peterson
Motorsport in 2015, he grabbed it.
“it was frustrating competing against
these guys the last couple of years,” said
Hinchcliffe at the announcement last
october. The canadian, who raced for
team owner sam schmidt in indy Lights
back in 2009, added: “Hopefully we can
make this team grow. everyone wants to
know if they can perform and i’m putting
myself on trial a little bit.”
The reason there was a vacancy at sPM
was because of the most surprising switch
of the off-season. after three years, four
Gabby Chaves is the latest Mazda road
To indy graduate to reach the verizon
indycar series amid a flood of acclaim
for his achievements in the junior ranks.
The 21-year-old colombian finished
second in Pro Mazda in 2012, repeated
this result in indy Lights in 2013, and
then won the Lights title last year.
chaves joins Bryan Herta Autosport
(aBove), expecting to contend for
indycar’s rookie of the year award. His
chief opponent will be Monaco’s Stefano
Coletti (BeLo W), who arrives at KV Racing
off the back of five wins in europe’s GP2
series over the past two seasons.
Simona De Silvestro is due to compete
in several races in a fourth andretti
autosport car, but as this magazine went
to press, we were awaiting confirmation
that Justin Wilson will drive that car at
the Grand Prix of indy and the indy 500.
SHAKING UP THE ORDER
off-season big-name driver shuffles pose some intriguing questions
rising stars and crowd favorites
will feature in indycar in 2015
wins and two outside chances of title glory
with schmidt Peterson, simon Pagenaud
signed with Team Penske to drive a fourth
car alongside Helio castroneves, Will
Power and Juan Montoya.
said team owner roger Penske: “simon
is very talented, focused and determined.
We feel we now have four drivers capable
of winning on any given weekend, and four
legitimate championship contenders.”
and who could argue with The captain?
• For more insight into driver changes and
2015 prospects, check out page 40.
For the first time since the
long-defunct Champ Car
series closed out its 2007
season in Mexico City, a top
U.S. open-wheel racing
championship will stage its
finale on a road course. The
closing round of the 2015
Verizon IndyCar Series will
be held on the beautiful
2.38-mile Sonoma Raceway
in Northern California.
doUblING dowN IN wINe coUNtry
at SPM. (LEFT)
Since joining IndyCar
full-time in 2012,
Pagenaud has finished
fifth, third and fifth
in the final points.
Including a win in the Asia Series, Coletti has
achieved eight wins in GP2 cars, which are
theoretically the last step before Formula 1.
Adding a further twist to
the narrative of any title
finale is the fact that the
GoPro Grand Prix of
Sonoma, set for Sunday,
August 30, will be worth
double points – the only race
on the 2015 calendar other
than the Indianapolis 500 to
be so generous. That pretty
much guarantees IndyCar is
set for an epic showdown…