Schmidt Peterson Motorsports have announced today that they will be expanding their partnership with sponsors Arrow Electronics. The company will shift from being the primary sponsor of James Hinchcliffe‘s #5 Honda to become the title sponsor of the whole team. The team will now be known as Arrow Schmidt Peterson for the upcoming 2019 NTT IndyCar Series onwards.
The team revealed the great sponsorship news at an event held in the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado today. At the event, the team also unveiled their 2019 cars which will be driven by James Hinchcliffe and rookie Marcus Ericsson.
Alongside Hinchcliffe’s #5 and Ericsson’s #7 cars also sat the #6 car belonging to Robert Wickens. Whilst the Canadian, who won the rookie of the year title with the team last year, is expected to have a long recovery still ahead of him following his horrific crash at Pocono Raceway in August, the team maintain that his car will be waiting for him whenever he is able to get back behind the wheel.
“For me, this announcement is nothing short of a lifelong dream come true,” said team co-owner Sam Schmidt of today’s announcement, “Mike Long and the entire team at Arrow first had the vision to create a system that enabled me to get behind the wheel after 16 years of paralysis which, in and of itself, has changed my life and the lives of millions worldwide.
“Now, by becoming our team title partner, they have given us the resources to fulfil another lifelong dream to win the Indy 500 and a championship in the IndyCar Series.”
Arrow first came onboard with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2014 when the electronics company helped Schmidt, a quadriplegic, develop and test a semi-autonomous car. Ahead of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series, the company joined the team as a sponsor of Hinchcliffe’s #5 car; with James taking the car to victory circle shortly afterwards at the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana.
The company has remained with the team ever since as sponsors of Hinchcliffe’s car. Today’s news of a switch to title sponsorship of the whole team is a testament to the great partnership between the team and the company, with Mike Long, president and CEO of Arrow, stating today that he is excited to help the squad compete for wins and titles “for many years to come.”
“Our relationship with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has become synonymous with innovation, courage and perseverance,” said Long, “We are very driven to bring our technical expertise and resources to SPM to help them win races and championships for many years to come.”
Over the last few seasons of IndyCar racing, Schmidt Peterson has essentially been one of the leading ‘dark horses’ of the championship; frequently putting in great results that rival the ‘bigger’ teams such as Team Penske, Andretti Autosport and Chip Ganassi Racing.
The team has so far taken seven race wins in IndyCar, with last year perhaps being the team’s strongest season for the whole team, with Hinchcliffe and Wickens regularly finishing well inside the top ten. Of course, there have also been some tough moments in recent years, including monumental accidents for Hinchcliffe at Indianapolis in 2015 as well as Wickens at Pocono last year.
After today’s announcement, the team’s co-owner, Ric Peterson, praised Arrow for staying with them during the last few years before going on to say how excited he was for the future with the new title sponsorship.
“We couldn’t ask for a better partner for our team than Arrow,” said Peterson. “They’ve been by our side the last four years through the highs and lows, always pushing us closer to our goal: becoming Champions. We’re very excited for this next chapter of Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.”
Both Hinchcliffe and Ericsson took part in a pre-season test at Sebring International Raceway on Tuesday. Hinchcliffe topped the time-sheets at the end of the day’s running, with Ericsson just under a second slower. The first test featuring the entire field will take place from February 12-13 at the Circuit of the Americas.
The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series will kick-off with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 10.