Mikhail Aleshin has lost his IndyCar drive at Schmidt Peterson Mototsports effective immediately.
Aleshin will move into a sportscar role with SMP Racing, a program founded by Russian banker Boris Romanovich Rotenberg to promote his countryman drivers in motorsport.
“Mikhail Aleshin, the Russian SMP Racing program driver, will not be returning to the #7 Honda for the remainder of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season,” read the statement issued by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
“Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and SMP Racing have mutually agreed that the Russian driver will focus on the design and development of the new BR1 LMP1 car.
“Aleshin is the key SMP Racing driver working on the new LMP1 prototype BR1 which shall be ready for its first test session in the near future.
“Designed by Russian company BR Engineering, in cooperation with Dallara, the BR1 of SMP Racing team will debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2018.
“No interviews or further comments will be given by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at this time.”
No official reason was given for the change.
The Russian also missed Friday practice for late June’s Road America race weekend due to visa issues experienced as he attempted to return from the Le Mans 24 Hours, where he drove for SMP.
Aleshin currently sits 16th in the series with a best result of sixth position in the Saturday Detroit race among a total of three top 10 finishes.
He also has three DNFs in 2017, crashing on his own at Phoenix and Iowa and being taken out in Texas.
There is no official word yet on who will drive the #7 Honda for the remaining four races of the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The next round is the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono on August 19-20.