McLaren confirms full-time IndyCar entry
McLaren has confirmed it will launch a full-time IndyCar program in 2020 in partnership with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport.
The squad will be named Arrow McLaren Racing SP, and will field two Chevrolet powered cars in the American open-wheel series.
Through the partnership, the existing infrastructure behind the SPM team will remain in place while McLaren will add technical, commercial, and marketing expertise to the mix.
“IndyCar has been part of McLaren since our early years of racing, and the series today provides not only a commercial platform to continue to grow our brand in North America, but competition with some of the best teams in international motorsport,” said McLaren boss Zak Brown.
“This team provides McLaren with the right synergy as a strategic partner for our return to the sport.
“We believe together we can help each other achieve our mutual ambitions.
“Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson have built a solid foundation and we look forward to working together to take the team to the next level.
“We come to IndyCar in full respect of the sport, our competitors, the fans and the task ahead,” he added.
“At our core, we at McLaren are racers and where there’s competition that puts us to the test, we will race. The NTT IndyCar Series provides such a challenge.”
Gil de Ferran, former IndyCar racer and now Sporting Director at McLaren, will head the team.
“IndyCar is a natural fit for McLaren, given our legacy and determination to succeed at the top levels of international motorsport,” he said.
“Our ambition, over time, is to consistently compete for wins and championships.
“We acknowledge the challenge ahead of us but McLaren is committed to this partnership and to supporting the team as a whole.”
For existing team owners Schmidt and Peterson, both of whom are set to continue, the partnership with McLaren offers a range of new possibilities.
“I’m extremely proud of the team that Ric and I have built and that a legendary brand like McLaren Racing has decided to partner with us to form Arrow McLaren Racing SP to continue our march to the top of IndyCar,” said Schmidt.
“I’m really excited that we could pull together our long-term partner Arrow and forge a new partnership with McLaren to become a unified force,” added Peterson.
“I’m equally thrilled that Sam and I are able to continue on in our long-standing relationship together and maintain our ownership position in the company. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
No announcements surrounding drivers was made, though current SPM driver James Hinchcliffe remains under contract for another year.
McLaren last competed in IndyCar on a full-time basis in 1979, having focused its efforts since on Formula 1 and, increasingly in recent years, GT racing.