Plans have been scrapped for a 2018 Indy 500 partnership between Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and former Formula 1 entrant Didier Calmels to run France’s Tristan Gommendy in the No. 77 Honda (driven by Jay Howard in the 2017 race, above).
Gommendy, who currently races LMP2 prototypes in the FIA World Endurance Championship, drove for KV Racing in the Champ Car series in 2007. The plan had called for the 38-year-old to drive the No. 77 Honda as SPM’s third entry along with James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens, who was signed by the team after the partnership was announced.
Calmels was one of the founders of the Larrousse F1 team in the 1980s, but he was removed from the team in 1989 before being convicted of fatally shooting his first wife and serving about two years in prison. In recent years, he’s been a fixture in sports car paddocks, mostly with the French Signatech Alpine program,.
“Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Calmels Sport have mutually agreed to end their partnership of a 2018 Indianapolis 500 program,” SPM said in a statement. “SPM will continue to focus on raising the level of performance of its involvement in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Both parties wish one another well in the future.”