McLaren is about to double down on its stake in IndyCar; the team announced today that it will be acquiring a 75 percent stake in the Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team by the end of 2021, The Indy Star reports.
McLaren joined up with what was then known as Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports on August 9, 2019, essentially partnering up with a well-established IndyCar effort as a way to really make their mark on the sport after some messy attempts at racing in the Indianapolis 500. The team provided a solid foothold for McLaren.
Since then, the British outfit has proved to be an integral member of the team, not only helping to build partnerships with brands like Vuse, Mission Foods, Darktrace, Tezos, and QNTMPAY but also providing technical support from its McLaren’s F1 base in England.
Once McLaren joined up, the team saw a significant improvement. In 2019, James Hinchcliffe was the highest-placing driver on the team at the end of the year, scoring 12th place in the overall championship. The following year, Patricio O’Ward finished fourth overall. Now, O’Ward is in contention for the title. It’s been a seriously rapid turnaround. Now, with a majority stake in the team for the 2022 season, it’s only a matter of time before McLaren becomes a series champion.
(It’s worth noting, though, that the team intends to keep the Arrow McLaren SP name, largely in honor of Sam Schmidt, who has built the team from the ground up.)
“Today’s announcement is a strong signal of our long-term commitment to IndyCar as both a racing series and a marketing platform for McLaren Racing and our sponsor partners,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said in the press release. “McLaren Racing believes IndyCar will continue to build our brand in North America, serve our expanding US fan and partner base across our racing portfolio and drive long-term value. The racing is second-to-none, with world-class competitors in both drivers and teams and a passionate, highly engaged fanbase.”
“We always believed that to accelerate our progress in IndyCar, partnering with a team of McLaren’s capability and F1 experience was a key strategy to propel us forward, and so it has proved,” Ric Peterson added in the release. “McLaren Racing now takes the baton and will combine the best of what they do with the best of what this team does to create something truly special.
“Sam and I are immensely proud of what we have built together through our partnership over the past nine years, and look forward to continue being part of this team as a partner with McLaren Racing to see Arrow McLaren SP go from strength to strength.”