The Schmidt Peterson team continues its reputation for IndyCar talent-spotting by promoting its Indy Lights title winner Tristan Vautier into the top-line series for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series.
The 23-year-old dominated the 2011 Star Mazda Championship before graduating to the Indy Lights series, claiming four wins and a further three podiums in the twelve-race championship en route to winning the title in his rookie year, driving for Schmidt’s team.
The announcement comes as the frontline IndyCar team – which helped 2012 rookie driver Simon Pagenaud to fifth overall in the Drivers’ Championship standings – looks to expand to a two-car operation in 2013, pairing Vautier alongside his compatriot to make a formidable line-up.
“We achieved success with Simon Pagenaud last season as a properly-run single-car team, but I believe we’ll be even better with two cars given the chemistry of the package and personnel we have put together for this programme,” team co-owner Sam Schmidt said in today’s announcement.
“You really need to run two cars to reap the benefits of two sets of data and vie for the championship at this level.”
Vautier has previously tested for the team (pictured), and will make his series debut at the opening round of the 2013 season at St Petersburg in March.