They might not have their faces enshrined on the Borg Warner trophy, but Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens can boast something no Indy 500 winner can claim.
Thanks to the rebranding of two tanker ships that navigate the Canadian Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, and the Eastern Seaboard, the names “Hinch Spirit” and “Wicky Spirit” (click here to view the ship at Boatnerd.com) have been spotted navigating local waterways by eagle-eyed fans.
Owned by McKeil Marine Limited, the tankers were rechristened in honor of the NTT IndyCar Series drivers in honor of the relationship between McKeil and Petro-Canada Lubricants, a sponsor affiliated with the Arrow SPM team and its Canadian drivers, which transports the company’s products from port to port.
Wickens, who drove for the team in 2018 and holds a commitment from team owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson to have a car waiting when he’s able to resume his career, carried Petro-Canada Lubricants logos through his rookie IndyCar campaign.
“The partnership with James Hinchcliffe and the team is built upon our collective focus; technology, innovation and safety are the cornerstones of what we do,” said Petro-Canada Lubricants communications director Corinn Smith. “Our research and development team works closely with Arrow SPM engineers to integrate products into operations to assist on and off the track.”
Hinchcliffe was unable to attend the unveiling of his ship, but it didn’t deter McKeil Marine or Petro-Canada Lubricants, who used a cardboard cutout of the 32-year-old to pose for photos at the press conference.
“They are super people there,” he told RACER. “And they thought it would be nice to name the ships after us!”
With the bar raised by Arrow SPM’s sponsors, what will other IndyCar sponsors name in honor of their drivers?