McLaren Racing has announced that it will return to full-time IndyCar competition from 2020 in a strategic partnership with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (Arrow SPM) and Chevrolet. McLaren last competed full-time in IndyCar in 1979.
Under the partnership, the team will be renamed Arrow McLaren Racing SP and will field two Chevrolet-powered cars in the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series, reflecting the continuing status of Arrow Electronics as the team's title partner, as well as a new manufacturer partnership with Chevrolet.
The partnership will see the infrastructure of Arrow SPM underpin the team's operations, while McLaren adds technical expertise, commercial experience and marketing strength to enable the new entity to perform at the highest competitive level and regularly challenge for wins and the series title. Arrow SPM co-founders Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson continue in their current roles.
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director, McLaren Racing, will lead the McLaren IndyCar programme and involvement in Arrow McLaren Racing SP. He will helm a dedicated group from McLaren Racing, independent of the Formula 1 team.
"IndyCar has been part of McLaren since our early years of racing," said Zak Brown, "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.
"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.
"I'm absolutely delighted that we will expand our relationship with Arrow Electronics across both F1 and IndyCar, while renewing our long affinity with Chevrolet as our engine partner. McLaren and Chevrolet have a special history together in North America and it is fitting they are part of our full-time return to IndyCar.
"We come to IndyCar in full respect of the sport, our competitors, the fans and the task ahead. 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."
"IndyCar is a natural fit for McLaren, given our legacy and determination to succeed at the top levels of international motorsport," added Gil de Ferran. "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."
"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 Sam Schmidt, Co-Owner, Arrow SPM. "Arrow is a tremendous partner which has been integral to our growth as a team since 2015 and to the creation of this new partnership. The combined technical resources and commercial opportunities both McLaren and Arrow bring to the table provide a winning combination."
"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 Ric Peterson, Co-Owner, Arrow SPM. "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."
"Advancement in automotive technology continues to be a powerful growth driver for our business," said Mike Long, Chairman, President and CEO of Arrow Electronics. "We are delighted to see our partners join forces in a way that provides an even broader platform and showcase for Arrow's engineering and innovation."
"Chevrolet and McLaren have a storied history of racing together, going back to the mid-1960s," added Jim Campbell, US Vice President, Performance and Motorsports, Chevrolet. "We have always had tremendous respect for Zak Brown and Gil de Ferran, as well as for Sam Schmidt, Ric Peterson and Mike Long. We are looking forward to partnering with the entire Arrow McLaren Racing SP team as we prepare for the 2020 IndyCar season."
No details of the proposed driver line-up has been made available at this time, though James Hinchcliffe has one year of his contract with Arrow SPM remaining.