McLaren Acquires A Majority Stake In IndyCar Team
McLaren Racing has taken a sizeable step forward in its rekindled relationship with IndyCar, as it announced that it is acquiring a majority stake in Arrow McLaren SP. While financial terms have not been disclosed, it will see the British-based organization take a 75 percent share in the team.
The McLaren name returned to the IndyCar series in 2017 to contest the Indy 500 in 2017. In their one-off entry for the prolific event, they used a McLaren-branded Andretti Autosport IndyCar. Two years later, the team took part again, a precursor to a full-time entry for 2020, collaborating with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
The team was originally founded in 2001 by former IndyCar racer Sam Schmidt after a horrific accident left him a quadriplegic with severe injuries to his spinal cord. The name changed from Sam Schmidt Motorsports to Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports in 2011, and two years later became Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM).
Arrow McLaren SPM was a strategic partnership, with the British team bringing both technical expertise and funding to the operation that was founded in 2001.
McLaren’s IndyCar effort will be the fourth fully-fledged operation under their umbrella, joining their presence in F1, Extreme E (from 2022), and McLaren Shadow esports. They also have an option to join Formula E in 2022.
Zac Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing said: “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.”
Schmidt commented: “I’ve known Zak for 25 years. He’s a racer and this is a group of hardcore racers. We started our partnership two years ago and it’s gone extremely well, both technically and commercially. Ric came in 2013 and moved the bar of the team up. Arrow came in a couple of years later and again we moved the bar up. McLaren is an iconic brand and we’re proud to be with them. We’re doing this to make the team better and ensure long-term success.”