Mikhail Aleshin will miss the remainder of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season after splitting with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in order to focus on the development of the BR Engineering LMP1 car.

Aleshin had been involved in the development of the new BR1 car for much of this year owing to his links to the Russian SMP Racing programme, balancing duties with a full-season IndyCar ride.

Aleshin missed last month’s race in Toronto due to immigration issues, and will not feature in any of the remaining four rounds of the season, as confirmed by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports on Saturday.

“Mikhail Aleshin, the Russian SMP Racing program driver, will not be returning to the No. 7 Honda for the remainder of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season,” a statement reads.

“Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and SMP Racing have mutually agreed that the Russian driver will focus on the design and development of the new BR1 LMP1 car.

“Aleshin is the key SMP Racing driver working on the new LMP1 prototype BR1 which shall be ready for its first test session in the near future.

“Designed by Russian company BR Engineering, in cooperation with Dallara, the BR1 of SMP Racing team will debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2018.”

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports did not confirm who would replace Aleshin for the final four races, but has used Sebastian Saavedra and Robert Wickens as stand-ins for the Russian so far this season.


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