McLaren Partners With Arrow SPM For IndyCar Return

McLaren is returning to full-time Indy car competition in 2020 via a partnership with Arrow Schmidt Peterson. (IndyCar Photo)
McLaren is returning to full-time Indy car competition in 2020 via a partnership with Arrow Schmidt Peterson. (IndyCar Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS – McLaren is returning to full-time Indy car competition next year after forming partnerships with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chevrolet.

McLaren last competed full-time in Indy car competition in 1979. McLaren partnered with Andretti Autosports to field a car for Fernando Alonso in the Indianapolis 500 in 2017. McLaren and Alonso returned to Indianapolis this year in partnership with Carlin, but failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.

Under the partnership, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 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.

Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports had previously worked with Honda.

“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,” Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing.

“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.”

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 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports co-founders Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson will continue in their current roles.

“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. “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,” said 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.”

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director, McLaren Racing, will lead the McLaren IndyCar program and involvement in Arrow McLaren Racing SP. He will helm a dedicated group from McLaren Racing, independent of the Formula One team.

“IndyCar is a natural fit for McLaren, given our legacy and determination to succeed at the top levels of international motorsport,” said 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.”

McLaren and Arrow Schmidt Peterson have not announced drivers for 2020. James Hinchcliffe and Marcus Ericsson currently drive for Arrow Schmidt Peterson.