As if the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports stable wasn’t already stacked with talent, the juggernaut team in Firestone Indy Lights announced the signing of a third supremely talented driver, Sage Karam. To be honest, I and many others just took it as a given that Sage would be with Zach Veach at the Andretti Autosport team, the team he’s been with ever since joining the Mazda Road to Indy in the USF2000 Championship back in 2010. As we saw Andretti sign Zach and Munoz, I thought perhaps they would expand to a three-car team and that the delay in the announcement was merely Sage and Andretti Autosport hashing out the fine print on the contract. Turns out that wasn’t exactly the case!
Sage Karam will be driving full-time for what all must admit to be the best performing team in Firestone Indy Lights in history, with Schmidt’s outfit winning six championships over the last nine years including the past three years running. This season doesn’t seem to be shaping up any different as Schmidt has now successfully secured the driving services of the top three finishers in the 2012 Star Mazda Championship, champion Jack Hawksworth, 1st runner-up Gabby Chaves, and 2nd runner-up Sage Karam. While there is still plenty of good talent and quality teams in Firestone Indy Lights, the deck is certainly stacked in favour of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports yet again. That history of success and consistency seems to have been one of the primary motivations for Karam to seek out this ride.
“In 2012 SPM’s four Firestone Indy Lights cars had no mechanical DNFs and won seven races, which is huge. When I visited their shop, I felt their chemistry was in line with my competitive personality. I believe SPM will give me the best possible chance of winning.” — Sage Karam, #8 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Even being on such a strong team, a championship title will not come easy. Both of his teammates are strong drivers, and then there’s Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz and Belardi Auto Racing’s Peter Dempsey that will be right there fighting for wins. The 2013 Firestone Indy Lights grid might not be as large as we’d like for the health of the series, but it sure is stacked with talent! I think we’re in for some epic races and great battles this season, especially at Indianapolis!