Montoya Returns to 500 with AMSP

From Arrow McLaren SP:

Juan Pablo Montoya, Arrow McLaren SP and Mission Foods will team up for a second consecutive year, with the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion competing in the No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet for both the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Montoya will again join full-time Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist to complete the team’s lineup for the Month of May.  
 
Montoya returns to Arrow McLaren SP after competing for the team last year, finishing ninth in the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500. This year will see him attempt to qualify for his seventh entry into the race, having competed six times in his career, including winning as a rookie in 2000 and again 15 years later in 2015.  
 
The MISSION brand will be represented on the No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet and Montoya’s race suit during both races, as well as continuing to be featured on the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by O’Ward and the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by Rosenqvist. 

Mission Foods first partnered with Arrow McLaren SP in 2020 and the successful partnership continues to find new and exciting ways to activate and reach new consumers through the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. 
 
The 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place on May 29, 2022 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Follow along with Arrow McLaren SP all season long on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube at @ArrowMcLarenSP.

Juan Pablo Montoya, Driver, No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet:  
 
“I’m excited to return to Indianapolis with Arrow McLaren SP and Mission, to once again compete in a race that holds a special place in my heart – the Indianapolis 500. I had a great experience with the team last year and look forward to building on the progress we made in 2021. I think we have a real shot at competing at the front of the field and challenging for the win.” 
 
Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing: 
 
“We’re delighted to have both Juan Pablo and Mission Foods back for another Indianapolis 500. Juan Pablo is an institution in motorsport, with two Indianapolis 500 victories and an impressive Formula 1 career with multiple wins for McLaren. He adds experience that really benefits our team, giving us another driver with the potential to win anytime he steps into the car.” 
 
Juan Gonzalez, Mission Foods Chief Executive Officer: 
 
“We are thrilled to partner again with Juan Pablo Montoya and Arrow McLaren SP for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500. The Indianapolis 500 and Juan Pablo are legendary to racing and loved by race fans everywhere. It’s an honor for our brand to align with icons like these.”

McLaren Completes Agreement to Acquire Majority Share of AMSP

Image from McLaren

A press release from McLaren this morning:

29 November

McLaren Racing confirms today that it has completed the agreement to acquire the majority shareholding in the Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team by the end of the year.

The conclusion of the agreement means that McLaren Racing will become the majority shareholder in the team with a controlling 75% stake, with Arrow McLaren SP to formally be part of the McLaren Racing organisation.

The team will be governed by a five-person board, comprising three McLaren Racing appointees, Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson and will be chaired by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.

Taylor Kiel, President of Arrow McLaren SP, will be accountable to Brown and the board for the overall operations and performance of the team.

Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

ENDS 

About McLaren Racing

McLaren Racing was founded by New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren in 1963. The team entered its first Formula 1 race in 1966, since then McLaren has won 20 Formula 1 world championships, more than 180 Formula 1 grands prix, the Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt and the Indianapolis 500 three times. McLaren Racing currently competes in Formula 1 globally and INDYCAR in the US. 

The team is contesting the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, and in the 2021 INDYCAR Series with Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist. McLaren was the first F1 team to be certified carbon neutral ten years ago and has successfully retained the Carbon Trust Standard Award, most recently in February 2021. They were also the first team to be awarded the FIA Institute’s Environmental Award in 2013, which they have consistently maintained at three-star level.

In 2022, McLaren Racing will enter a new category of motorsport when it enters a team into Extreme E, the innovative all-electric off-road racing series that highlights the impact of climate change.

About Arrow McLaren SP 

Arrow McLaren SP represents three determined entities – Arrow Electronics, McLaren Racing and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – who joined forces at the end of 2019 in a strategic partnership with a clear aim: to compete for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship and the Indianapolis 500. 

Arrow McLaren SP fields two cars in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES: the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by Pato O’Ward; and the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by Felix Rosenqvist. The team also fielded Juan Pablo Montoya in the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Follow the team on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube at @ArrowMcLarenSP and online at http://www.arrowmclarensp.com

Rosenqvist Cleared to Drive, Will Race at Mid Ohio

From Arrow McLaren SP Twitter account:

Felix Rosenqvist has been cleared to drive by the INDYCAR Medical Team and will return to pilot the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet this weekend for the Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. https://t.co/3R6p88evvQ

The team and driver expressed appreciation to Dr. Billows and the Indycar medical team for their help in Felix’s recovery.

The Honda Indy 200 is it n NBC Sunday at noon Eastern time.

Magnussen in for Rosenqvist at Road America

Former Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen (above) will drive the number 7 Arrow McLaren SP car for the injured Felix Rosenqvist this weekend at Road America. Rosenqvist suffered injuries in a crash during the first race last Saturday in Detroit. Road America will be the second race Rosenqvist will miss.

Magnussen drove for McLaren and Haas in F1. He currently drives for Chip Ganassi Racing in IMSA as one of the drivers of the DPi Cadillac team. Magnussen’s team won the IMSA race at Detroit last Saturday.

The team’s announcement on Twitter:

Following an evaluation by the INDYCAR Medical Team, Felix Rosenqvist has not been cleared to race at this weekend’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America.

Felix Rosenqvist

Felix will continue to be supported by the team as he progresses in his recovery… https://t.co/nVFcXB7PFF

Felix will be replaced for the REV Group Grand Prix by Kevin Magnussen, who will be making his INDYCAR debut. Magnussen made 19 starts for the McLaren Formula 1 team in 2014, including a career-best finish of second at the Australian Grand Prix that year. https://t.co/deZpO5a6E7

Felix will be replaced for the REV Group Grand Prix by Kevin Magnussen, who will be making his INDYCAR debut. Magnussen made 19 starts for the McLaren Formula 1 team in 2014, including a career-best finish of second at the Australian Grand Prix that year. https://t.co/deZpO5a6E7

O’Ward Powers Through to Pole at Barber

Photo: Pato O’Ward by Joe Skibinski, Indycar

Pato O’Ward began his title quest by winning the pole for the season opener at Barber Motorsports Park. The Mexican driver in his second full time Indycar season set a track record in round 2 on the way to the first starting spot for tomorrow’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. O’Ward led the round of 12 with record lap of 1:05.5019.

Qualifying began five minutes late after a power outage postponed the USF2000 series second race. The race ran after Indycar qualifying.

O’Ward earlier this year declared his intention to have his Arrow Mclaren SP Chevy contend for the series title, and today gave credence to his goal. In two practice sessions and two qualifying rounds where some top drivers had issues, O’Ward stayed focused on the task at hand. He also had to survive the more difficult qualifying group.

Alexander Rossi will start on the outside of row 1. Rossi led the second practice session earlier in the day. He abandoned his usual qualifying strategy when he is a pole contender. Instead of waiting to get in one hot lap as time runs out, Rossi was one of the first two cars out at the start of the Fast Six. He stayed out the entire time. Will Power was the first car out for the final round. Power’s tires seemed to fade as could not improve his times from early in the session.

James Hinchcliffe slid into the tire barrier in turn 5 causing a red flag in the second group. The round restarted with just a bit more than 4 minutes left. As time ran out, Felix Rosenqvist went off track in the final turn. He lost a spot in the final round for affecting another driver’s lap.

Notes

Rookies Scott McLaughlin and Romain Grosjean advanced to the second round. Grosjean finished second in his group, and McLaughlin was fourth. Grosjean starts seventh tomorrow and McLaughlin will roll off twelfth.

I can’t remember the last time Chip Ganassi Racing had three cars in the Fast Six. Alex Palou led the first practice session, and Marcus Ericsson had an impressive qualifying. Scott Dixon begins his title defense from fifth place.

The biggest surprise in qualifying was Josef Newgarden finishing eighth. He usually does very well here. Starting position is generally a big factor in the race results at Barber.

I think we will see a first career win tomorrow, but it may not necessarily be Pato O’Ward. Alex Palou looked very strong all day.

Results

Montoya Carries Iconic Number and Colors on 500 Ride

Photos from ArrowMcLarenSP Twitter page

Juan Pablo Montoya will drive car number 86 in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 in a car trimmed with the famous McLaren papaya orange. The 86 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1971 pole winning McLaren of Peter Revson, who stunned the crowd with his average time of 178.696, which beat out Mark Donohue for the pole. Revson finished second in the race to Al Unser.

Peter Revson prepares for his qualifying run in 1971
Top view

Montoya, 500 winner in 2000 and 2015, will also drive in the May 15 race on the IMS road course.

Arrow McLaren SP is the third team Montoya will have driven for in the 500. He won the 500 while driving for Chip Ganassi in 2000 and for Team Penske in 2015.

The three car AMSP effort at Indy, with full time drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, should be a strong contender in May.

O’Ward Ready to Fight for the Championship

Photo: Chris Owens, Indycar

Pato O’Ward left no doubt about his plans for the 2021 Indycar season.

“We want to win races. We want to be consistently fighting for podiums, and we want to be there. We want to be contenders every single race weekend.I think in doing so, that’ll put us in a position at the end of the year to fight for the championship. That is the goal. I want to get to Long Beach having a possibility to win the championship,” The Arrow McLaren SP second year driver said on Indycar Content Day yesterday.

O’Ward finished fourth in the season standings in 2020, winning his first career pole at road America. While he has yet to win a race, that will happen this coming season. I have a feeling he will stand on the top step of the podium more than once this year.

O’Ward spent time in the off-season watching his races from 2020, focusing on the races he felt he should have won. His goal this year is to qualify better and to minimize pit errors, which hurt him in a couple of races last season. O’Ward told the media,

“Man, I rewatched every race where we were in contention, both Iowa races, both Gateway races,Road America. Just from things that I learned last year,you qualify up front, you make your life so much easier.Another thing is that pit stops are huge in INDYCAR racing. I lost a lot of my race wins because we didn’t execute in the pits, and that’s huge. I feel like our pace was very, very strong. I think we were very strong in many places that we went to all year.But where we need to push this year, and we may need to make sure if we have a mistake it has to be minimized, is in the pits, and me as a driver just do my job.”

Motivation has never been an issue for O’Ward, but he seems even more determined to succeed this upcoming season.He feels that he and his team are ready to mix it up with the big three of Penske, Ganassi, and Andretti. He does acknowledge it’s a tall order.

“I feel like last year we left a lot of unfinished business. We were close to winning four races, and we didn’t get it done. We didn’t get it done. There were tough pills to swallow,and I felt like that left everyone in the team so hungry. I can see it from the off-season, just how much work has been put into the development of trying to make the cars go faster at the speedway and road courses.Me as a driver, I truly don’t think I’ve ever been fitter, more ready to try and win the thing. I have lots of faith in the team. I have lots of faith in what we can accomplish as a group. It’s going to be ridiculously hard, but it is possible.”

The addition of Juan Pablo Montoya for the Indianapolis 500 should help him as a driver and the team overall, O’Ward believes. He also thinks having gone through a complete Indycar season as ateam and knowing what to expect, will improve their chances of success.

“I think having a year under our belts and the engineers knowing what I like and how I go about things, I think that just helps everyone work better and more efficient. I have lots of faith that all those small guys behind the computer doing all the analysis and the developments of either it can be a road course, street course, superspeedway for drag,aero, whatever it may be, I feel like in this off-season they had a direction and they had more of a clear picture of where they had to work, to work at or see where there was massive improvements to be made.”

The Indianapolis 500 is where O’Ward really wants to improve. Last year the superspeedways were “like driving into a black hole,” he said. He believes the team, with Monotya’s help, will be stronger at the brickyard in 2021.

I am putting O’Ward on my list of title contenders. This is the first of a series on each of the drivers I think has a shot at the Astor Cup in 2021.

O’Ward Leads Laguna Seca Test; Grosjean 3rd Fastest

Photo: Chris Owens, Indycar

Pato O’Ward had the quickest time in Monday’s test at Weather Tech Raceway Monday. The private test The private test session included seven drivers from four teams. It was the first test day in an Indycar for Juan Pablo Montoya, who will drive for Arrow McLaren SP in the Indianapolis 500.

Montoya will be in car number 86 at Indianapolis. The number is a tribute to Peter Revson’s 1971 500 pole winning McLaren.

Romain Grosjean, who recently signed with Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, was third fastest on the day. Grosjean said in an earlier interview that this track was the one he was most looking forward to driving. he had Laguna Seca on a video game when he was younger.

Helio Castroneves also partticipated in the test for Meyer Shank Racing. Castroneves will drive in six races, including the 500, for Meyer Shank Racing.

Indycar’s next official test will at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway April 8-9 for all entries in the Indianapolis 500. There is no word yet if this test will be open for public viewing.

Results:

RANKCAR NO.DRIVERTEAMENGINEFAST LAPDIFF.TOTAL LAPS
15Pato O’WardArrow McLaren SPChevrolet71.293 83
218Ed JonesDale Coyne Racing With Vasser-SullivanHonda71.529-0.236104
351Romain GrosjeanDale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware RacingHonda71.571-0.278109
67Felix RosenqvistArrow McLaren SPChevrolet71.600-0.30792
560Jack HarveyMeyer-Shank RacingHonda71.688-0.39581
421Rinus VeeKayEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet71.797-0.504104
886Juan MontoyaArrow McLaren SPChevrolet72.219-0.92675
706Helio CastronevesMeyer-Shank RacingHonda72.812-1.51991

Arrow McLaren SP Sports a Different Look for 2021

All photos from Arrow McLaren SP

Arrow McLaren SP revealed their liveris for the number 5 car of Pato O’Ward and the number 7 car of Felix Rosenqvist today. The cars have a bit of a different look and are not similar as they were last year. In 2020 Oliver Askew’s number 7 had blue end plates and the cars were at times difficult to distinguish.

The team presented the cars in a You Tube video this morning on their social media channels.

Rosenqvist (L) and O’Ward (R) comparison. Slide the arrow for a full view of each car.



The numbers on the roll hoop appear a bit sharper on the 2021 car. Last year the numbers were a hard to see at times. I’m glad they kept the abstract look of the digits.

Juan Pablo Montoya will join the team for 105th running of the Indianapolis 500. His car number, sponsor, and livery will be announced closer to May.