Chevrolet will have a new customer IndyCar team in 2020 in the way of the recently formed McLaren Arrow SP squad.
McLaren Arrow SP is the result of a partnership between the British manufacturer, Schmidt-Peterson Racing and its title sponsor, Arrow Electronics. The two-car team will use existing Schmidt-Peterson Racing staff and resources, however the new partnership with McLaren will bring additional funding to the former Honda team, giving it the potential to become a regular series front-runner.
Drivers have not yet been announced, so the future of Arrow SPM drivers James Hinchcliffe and Marcus Ericsson with the team is unclear. McLaren has twice now fielded an Indianapolis 500 entry for two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso, but the Spaniard ruled out a full-time IndyCar campaign previously.
The deal will give Chevrolet a second team apart from Team Penske that will be able to compete for podiums and wins. Penske has given Chevy every single one of its IndyCar wins since 2017, so the manufacturer was eager to sign on another high-quality team like McLaren and SPM.
“They made it very clear a couple years ago when we were in Detroit,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said. “Jim Campbell, Mark Reuss, Mark Kent, when we told them of all our desire to get into IndyCar, they made it real clear: If McLaren’s coming, let us know, we’d love to partner with McLaren. And they were outstanding at Indianapolis this year. I think they’re a great company and bunch of racers.”
“Chevrolet and McLaren have a storied history of racing together, going back to the mid-1960s,” said added Campbell, who serves as Chevy’s vice president of motorsports. “We are looking forward to partnering with the entire Arrow McLaren Racing SP team as we prepare for the 2020 IndyCar season.”
Getting Chevrolet on board for the IndyCar program was crucial for McLaren due to the brand’s sour past with Honda. McLaren endured three dismal seasons in Formula 1 using Honda power and the subsequent falling out meant the Japanese manufacturer was not interested in supplying the team with IndyCar engines.
“Without the support (Chevrolet has) given us, this deal wouldn’t have come together,” Brown admitted. “So between Arrow and Chevy, those two need a big shout-out for this marriage coming together.”