Robert Wickens will leave the Mercedes DTM team to join compatriot James Hinchcliffe in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018.
The twenty-eight-year-old Canadian will switch from the German-based Touring Car championship to race single-seaters for the first time in six seasons, and alongside Hinchcliffe, it means an all-Canadian line-up in the top-line American open wheel championship since Forsythe Racing fielded Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier in Champ Car back in 2014.
Wickens has tested with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports before and almost raced for the team when Mikhail Aleshin was delayed in returning to the United States for the race at Road America, and he is excited to race alongside Hinchcliffe again.
“This is an entirely new chapter to add to my racing career, and I am really excited for this opportunity that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has given me,” said Wickens.
“I think everyone knows the story by now that James and I grew up racing against one another in go karts, and to make it to the largest open-wheel racing series in North America together as team-mates, it’s crazy to think about.
“I am very thankful for the six years I had with everyone at Mercedes and DTM; those are memories I will cherish forever. I can’t wait to truly see what the Verizon IndyCar Series is all about!”
Hinchcliffe has also been confirmed to a new multi-year contract with the team, and the thirty-year-old is expecting a strong season for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2018.
“Not only am I really excited to be able to say I’ll be back with SPM for next year and beyond, but I am also really looking forward to being team0mates with one of my oldest friends,” said Hinchcliffe.
“Robbie and I grew up racing against one another, eventually took different paths, me staying in North America in open-wheel cars and him going off to Europe in sports cars, but it’s pretty neat that we both ended up here and we get to live our dream of being professional racing drivers, together on the same team.
“I think 2018 is going to be a great year for the SPM organization, from having Robbie here to the team’s new partnership with Honda and the 2018 aero kit; I just can’t wait to get back on track and bring some good results home for the Arrow Electronics crew.”