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IndyCar: Mikhail Aleshin to drive for Schmidt Peterson

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Former 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 champion Mikhail Aleshin will be the first Russian ever to compete in the IndyCar series after inking a deal with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Aleshin will replace Tristan Vautier and team-up with regular Simon Pagenaud for the 2014 season. The 26-year-old tested a Schmidt's Dallara-Honda for the first time at Sebring last weekend and the team has been impressed with his performance so far.

"We have already found his driving style to be very similar to Simon's and believe he can contribute immediately to the programme, even as a rookie," said team boss Sam Schmidt.

Aleshin has primarily raced in FR3.5 since 2006, interspersed with partial GP2 campaigns, some sportscar racing and finishing third in the first year of the revived Formula 2 series in 2009.

IndyCar Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Simon Pagenaud
Simon Pagenaud testing for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports this week at Sebring. (Photo: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)