Guerrieri Back With Schmidt In Firestone Indy Lights
One of the strongest combinations in the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights series is back together in 2012 and should be a serious threat for the championship.
Team owner Sam Schmidt announced March 20 that Argentinean Esteban Guerrieri (@Esteban_Guerrieri) will be driving the No. 11 ACTC/PISTAS ARGENTINAS Sam Schmidt Motorsports car when the 2012 Firestone Indy Lights season starts Saturday, March 24 at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
In 2011, Guerrieri was one of the fastest drivers every race weekend by capturing six Firestone Pole Awards and winning three races driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM). He finished second in the Firestone Indy Lights championship to his SSM teammate Josef Newgarden, who moved to the IZOD IndyCar series in 2012.
“My goal is to make it to the Izod IndyCar Series in 2013, so I felt like driving again for Sam in Indy Lights is the best thing for me to do this year,” said Guerrieri. “Though I will be focused on winning the championship in 2012, it will be good for me to spend another year in the INDYCAR paddock and at their tracks before stepping into an Indy car.
“Sam’s team is a wonderful organization, and it provides me a professional team in which to learn and grow. I look forward to working with all the SSM guys again. I also have to thank Argentine Association of Turismo Carretera (ACTC) and Iron Box S.A., an Argentinean company, for supporting me this season through its brand – Pistas Argentinas.”
Joining Guerrieri on the SSM Indy Lights team is one of his 2011 teammates, Brazilian Victor Carbone. Rounding out the four-car SSM Indy Lights team are Frenchman Tristan Vautier and Great Britain’s Oliver Webb. Carbone won the last race of the year in 2011.
“The team is extremely excited in not only having Victor Carbone returning but also having Esteban back,” said team owner Sam Schmidt. “Esteban brings a wealth of experience and speed back for his second year, which will only help our pure rookies Oli Webb and Tristan Vautier, as well as Victor."
In his last two seasons, Guerrieri has nine victories. In addition to his three Indy Lights victories in 2011, he won six World Series by Renault races on famous racetracks including Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, Brno Circuit in the Czech Republic, Silverstone in the United Kingdom, Hockenheimring in Germany, and Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
“We are proud to be able to support Argentine talent such as Esteban,” said Oscar Aventin, ACTC president. “We are trying to get more companies to support Esteban in order to have him racing in the Indianapolis 500 in the near future, making him the first Argentine race driver to do so.”
Said Jorge Aidar, president of Ironbox S.A., “Jointly with the ACTC and other companies supporting this project, we have a lot of hope in Esteban and expect very good results in the 2012 season.”