McLaren joins forces with Arrow SPM for full-time IndyCar project

McLaren has joined forces with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport to return to the IndyCar Series full-time, ending a 31-year absence from the championship.

McLaren collaborated with Andretti Autosport for a 2017 tilt at the Indianapolis 500 but its return this year, setting up its own team, ended in humiliation after failing to qualify.

McLaren had indicated in recent weeks that it was inching towards a full-time 2020 entry and on Friday revealed its collaboration with SPM.

The partnership will use Chevrolet engines and compete under the Arrow McLaren Racing SP banner, fielding two cars.

It has not yet announced the identity of its drivers; James Hinchcliffe’s holds a 2020 SPM contract but has held a long-term alignment with Honda.

Arrow SPM co-founders Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson will retain their current roles while on McLaren’s side, Gil de Ferran will head up its IndyCar programme, independent of the Formula 1 team.

“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 boss Zak Brown.

“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.”