Sam Schmidt, former IndyCar driver and owner of Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM), and Ric Peterson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Oculus Transport Ltd., today announced the formation of a new partnership between the two as owners of SSM’s Firestone Indy Lights and IZOD IndyCar Series race teams.
SSM won its sixth Firestone Indy Lights Championship in 2012 with driver Tristan Vautier. IZOD IndyCar Series rookie Simon Pagenaud finished fifth in the championship standings for Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports and took home Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.
Peterson also serves on the Board of Directors for Horizon North Logistics Inc. (Horizon), Canyon Services Group, and CanAir Nitrogen and has over 25 years of business experience, including specialties in oilfield trucking and related services. The Calgary resident developed a passion for motorsports at an early age racing both stock cars and open-wheel formula cars during his career, including competition in the 1991 Toyota Atlantic Championship.
“I set my sights on team ownership once I retired from the cockpit of a race car, and my current state of business affairs has given me the time to pursue it,” said Peterson. “When I first met Sam [Schmidt] back in May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I was immediately impressed by the team’s abilities and by the way Sam does business. This team has already shown that it has the potential to win races and championships as a one-car IZOD IndyCar team. It is my goal to contribute to the team’s growth and help build something special for the future.”
Schmidt started his race team in 2001 after an accident in 2000 ended his career and left him paralyzed. From day one, the team has been built on a culture of winning. The former IndyCar driver’s team has set a standard of excellence in Firestone Indy Lights competition, winning six championships and over 50 races along the way.
Schmidt’s team joined the IZOD IndyCar Series full time in 2011 and quickly set a pace for larger teams to follow. Pagenaud’s fifth-place finish in the championship standings made him the only driver from a one-car team in 2012 to finish in the top-10 positions.
Though proud of their achievements in 2012, SSM has a number of goals for 2013 which include adding a second IZOD IndyCar Series car and attempting to be the first to claim a championship in both the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights Series in the same season.
“This was another great season for our team in INDYCAR competition,” said Schmidt. “Our people have worked very hard to make us successful and continue to develop our program. Having Ric on-board as a partner will help us continue our growth and expansion in the sport. His background as a racer and his success in business make him an invaluable partner at Sam Schmidt Motorsports. I look forward to a successful partnership and the pursuit of more wins and championships together.”
Schmidt and Peterson are working through final details of branding for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. Further announcements are expected in the next few weeks.