Schmidt targets Montoya for Indy 500 drive

Sam Schmidt says he has been in discussions with Juan Pablo Montoya regarding a ride in the 102nd Indianapolis 500, although he admits it would require the team to find financial backing.

Schmidt targets Montoya for Indy 500 drive
Sam Schmidt
Juan Pablo Montoya, Team Penske Chevrolet beats Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet to the line
Juan Pablo Montoya testing the 2018 Chevrolet IndyCar
2015 Indy 500 Winner Juan Pablo Montoya, Team Penske
James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda pole winner, Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson
Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya, Team Penske Chevrolet

On the day that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda revealed that its fulltime lineup in 2018 would be James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens, team co-owner Schmidt admitted that he’s interested in running two-time Indy 500 winner Montoya at the Brickyard next May.

Although the Colombian ace drove a fifth Penske entry at this year's GP of Indy and the 500, his only drives for team owner Roger Penske in 2018 will be his fulltime role piloting an Acura ARX-05s in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Schmidt told Motorsport.com: “Roger deciding to not run Juan at Indy and allowing him to look for alternatives there has opened a door, and so it’s something Juan and I have discussed. It would be very interesting and it works well with him being an Acura driver and us being a Honda team.

“But it’s a scenario where we would have to find the funding, and to this point our total focus this off-season was getting the second car nailed down, getting a strong driver for it, and extending our deal with James.

“Now we can turn our attention a little more to the Indy situation, but we haven’t yet generated the funding internally to run that entry. We always have run an extra car there and that’s our intent again, but we haven’t been able to focus on it so far.”

Schmidt dismissed the idea of Hinchcliffe’s primary sponsor, Arrow Electronics, providing additional financial backing for a one-off entry, but said Montoya’s heritage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway should be a huge benefit when seeking a sponsor.

“I think Arrow has been a very committed partner for James’ entry and I wouldn’t tap them for more support for a third car,” he said. “I think it’s a matter of tapping into their suppliers and other people.

“Some global company associated with Arrow might be interested in an ex-Formula 1 guy, ex-Indy car champion and two time Indy 500 champion – those are all great things to sell against. I think we all knows he does a traditionally excellent job at the Speedway."

shares
comments
Robert Wickens has “great memories” of his years in DTM

Previous article

Robert Wickens has “great memories” of his years in DTM

Next article

Juncos announces four-race IndyCar programme for Kaiser

Juncos announces four-race IndyCar programme for Kaiser
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021