Schmidt looking to possible expansion to three cars in 2017

Sam Schmidt with James Hinchcliffe at Indianapolis - Credit: Eric McCombs / IndyCar

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports are looking to expand to a three-car effort, possibly as early as 2017, with the current partnership with sponsors Arrow set to be increased.

James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin look set to be retained into 2017 with Arrow and SMP Racing backing respectively, and team owner Sam Schmidt believes the alliance with Arrow has been in the ascendancy since they united three years ago and could propel the team into fielding a third car with either Arrow or one of one if its affiliated companies.

“We are right on plan there with Arrow,” said Schmidt to “We started the program three years ago and it has been growing every year.

“We have always had the ambition to have a second technology industry-based car, but we are not quite there with the budget to be able to do that. We are working on it as we speak.”

Schmidt admits that they will not add a third car if the full funding is not there, after initially struggling to field a second car four years ago with only half budget.

“I learned my lesson when I added a second car four years ago,” said Schmidt. “We added it with half budget and it didn’t work out very well, so we are not going to do that again.

“I would only add a third if it was fully financed, we would get the right people, the right equipment and be properly prepared. I’m not sure if we are going to have the support to do that next year, although we’re trying, or if it would be for 2018.”

Briton Jack Harvey and Uruguayan Santiago Urrutia have both been linked with a Schmidt IndyCar drive, although the latter may stay in Indy Lights for another season after missing out on the title by two points to Ed Jones at Laguna Seca on Sunday.