Former Sauber Formula 1 driver and reigning IMSA Prototype champion Felipe Nasr will be a guest of the Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports IndyCar team this weekend in Mid-Ohio, and will stay over on Monday to test one of the team’s Honda-powered cars.
The Brazilian has been among the top prospects for NTT IndyCar Series teams to consider since shifting his post-F1 career to the United States in 2018. After spending the 2015-2016 F1 seasons alongside current SPM driver Marcus Ericsson, the 26-year-old eventually turned to sports cars, landing with the Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi team, and promptly won the title with co-driver Eric Curran on his first attempt.
“We’re assessing drivers,” SPM general manager Taylor Kiel told RACER. “We want to make sure we have the best mechanics, engineers, and everyone, drivers included, and Felipe’s been on our radar for a while.”
With longstanding SPM driver James Hinchcliffe on a multi-year deal and Ericsson having expressed his desire to remain with the team for 2020, Kiel says testing Nasr fits a recent initiative to benchmark the talents of those who come from outside the IndyCar paddock.
“IndyCar gives us an opportunity to test a driver on an evaluation day, and we used that day with Robert Wickens in the past, with Marcus last year, and we’ll do it with Felipe this year,” he said. “It gives us more data to work with than we had before, and gives us a chance to get to know someone new who might be suited for these cars in the future.”