Aleshin Leads the Way for Honda in Final Indy Car Pre-Season Practice

  • Mikhail Aleshin leads Honda contingent in “The Test in the West”
  • 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series opens March 12 in St. Petersburg, Florida

PHOENIX, Ariz. (February 11, 2017) – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Mikhail Aleshin led the Honda contingent at the two-day “Test in the West” at Phoenix International Raceway, posting the sixth fastest speed during the Saturday afternoon session as the Verizon IndyCar Series field completed preparations for the 2017 season.

Tony Kanaan ended the test seventh fastest as Chip Ganassi Racing returns to the Honda Indy car camp for 2017. Another driver returning to Honda, Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais, ran ninth. Aleshin’s teammate, James Hinchcliffe, rounded out the top 10 for Honda at the test.

This weekend’s test marked the public debut of the twin-turbocharged Honda HI17RTT V6 Indy engine. The Verizon IndyCar Series season opens on March 12 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mikhail Aleshin (Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda): “We did a good job in today’s first session, and it was pretty productive; we went through our test plan and everything went perfect. I know we are the fastest Honda, so that is pretty good, but there are still a lot of things in our plan to work on in the final session. This test has been great. We’re here in Arizona, the weather is great, nice people around and I’m with my team, so I think that’s what matters and I’m really enjoying our time here.”

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on this weekend’s open test:  “After a long off-season, it does feel good to be back on track again. This being a test weekend, you can’t read too much into the results, and we know we still have work to do prior to the start of the season. But we are looking forward to the start of racing next month in St. Petersburg, and to seeking our fourth victory in the last six years at the Indianapolis 500.”

Verizon IndyCar Series Test in the West

Circuit:       Phoenix International Raceway (1.022-mile oval), Avondale, AZ

Weather:     Mostly sunny, mild, 78 degrees afternoon, 71 degrees evening