McLaren to return to Indycar after four decades

McLaren's Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr addresses the drivers' press conference ahead of the German Formula One Grand Prix. (AFP Photo)

McLaren Racing is to return to IndyCar competition 40 years after they last competed in the series full-time, the team announced on Friday.

McLaren -- who won the Indy 500 twice in the 1970's with Johnny Rutherford triumphing in 1974 and 1976 -- will be in a "strategic partnership with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (Arrow SPM) and Chevrolet."

The team will be called Arrow McLaren Racing SP and field two Chevrolet-powered cars in the 2020 championship.

Spain's two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso did drive a McLaren-branded Andretti Autosport car in the 2017 Indy 500 -- he retired when in seventh -- but the Spaniard competing in a McLaren Racing car and using Chevrolet engines failed to qualify for the 2019 edition.

"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 Racing CEO Zak Brown.

Gil de Ferran, McLaren Racing's Sporting Director, said they were looking forward to the challenge.

"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."

 

 

 

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