INDIANAPOLIS (January 22, 2013) - Jack Hawksworth and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) will shake off the cobwebs of a long off-season and return to the location they find most comfortable this week at Homestead – Miami Speedway: the cockpit of a race car.
Hawksworth and SPM will complete a two-day test on the 2.21-mile Homestead road course on Jan. 23 and 24. The West Yorkshire-native confirmed in December he would be driving for SPM in the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights Championship.
“The weather is supposed to be good for both of our testing days, so it will give me the opportunity to understand the Lights car more and figure out the best way to extract performance from it,” Hawksworth said. “This will also be a relationship building exercise since I will get to see more of how SPM works and they’ll also get a better idea of how I work.”
SPM General Manager Rob Edwards is looking forward to the team’s first chance to size up the rest of the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights field.
“An open test is a chance for us to make an initial evaluation of where we are in relation to the competition,” Edwards said.
The team’s primary goal will be to ensure Hawksworth feels comfortable so they can easily return to the rhythm of the race season.
“This will be our first test with Jack since Sebring in November, so the main objective is to get everyone back in a routine and continue the process of integrating him with our team,” Edwards said.
Hawksworth is confident that the resources at the six-time Firestone Indy Lights championship-winning team will enable him to get up to speed quickly.
“There is certainly an art to driving these cars, but being with such a good team it shouldn’t take me long to get up to speed,” Hawksworth said. “There are highly skilled individuals across this whole team and we have a great chance to have a fantastic season.”
According to Edwards, one of Hawksworth’s main challenges will be adapting to the car’s characteristics.
“SPM knows these cars very well after being in Firestone Indy Lights for so many years,” Edwards said. “There is a temptation for the driver to start making changes to the car, but the trick is for the driver to leave the car alone and learn to maximize it with SPM’s setup.”
For real-time updates from the two-day test at Homestead-Miami Speedway follow @SPMIndyCar on Twitter.
About Schmidt Peterson Motorsports:
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) was established in 2001 and is owned by former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson. Schmidt was paralyzed (quad) in 2000 after an accident during testing at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. SPM fields cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, and Firestone Indy Lights. SPM is the most successful team in Firestone Indy Lights history with 53 race wins and six championships. In addition, SPM has qualified 14 cars in the Indianapolis 500 since 2001 and, in 2011, won the coveted Indy 500 pole. SPM also fields the #77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton HP Motorsports IndyCar entry driven by Simon Pagenaud, the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year.