Sebastian Saavedra is getting another chance with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports as the organization announced he will drive the No. 7 Lucas Oil Honda at Pocono Raceway and Gateway Motorsports Park.
“I am very excited to be back with the SPM organization,” Saavedra said. “It’s another late call to jump in, but I take it with pride after a promising start of our relationship in Toronto. Looking forward to a challenging event as the ‘Tricky Triangle’ can be, and support (James) Hinchcliffe in his pursuit of championship points. I’m thankful to my sponsors and my continued relationship with AFS Inc.”
The ABC Supply 500 this weekend marks Saavedra’a second start with the team in 2017, following the Honda Indy Toronto where he placed 11th. He will once again be paired with race engineer Blair Perschbacher, with the pair having previous experience from Indy Lights.
“Delighted to have Sebastian back with the SPM team following what was a very encouraging performance at the Toronto event,” said Piers Phillips, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ general manager. “He is experienced and competent, and I have no doubt he will contribute to the overall performance of the team. We’re heading to Pocono full of confidence as a team and we’re looking forward to hopefully seeing Sebastian and James at the front of the pack.”
The opportunity for the Colombian comes virtue of his longtime partner, AFS Racing, who will sponsor him for both events.
“It’s great to team up with (team co-owner) Sam (Schmidt) after the great rivalry we had in the (Indy) Lights championship,” said Gary Peterson, president and CEO of AFS Inc. “After Sebastian’s positive performance in Toronto, the next two events will be an opportunity to show his strength on ovals and that he is a great candidate for the 2018 season with SPM.”
The pair of events will mark his 64th and 65th series starts, with Saavedra having posted a previous best finish of 15th at Pocono.
Beyond Gateway, it has not been announced who will drive the No. 7 entry following the team releasing Mikhail Aleshin so he can “focus on the design and development of the new BR1 LMP1 car.”
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