McLaren Racing have announced that they will take a 75-percent majority stake in Arrow McLaren SP, furthering their commitment to the NTT IndyCar Series.
The purchase is set to be completed later in the year, taking majority from team founder Sam Schmidt and co-owner Ric Peterson, the “S” and “P” in the team’s name. Schmidt has been a part of IndyCar as a team owner since 2001 with Sam Schmidt Racing, and partnered with McLaren in 2020 to form the team we know today.
The name of the team and base of operations in the United States are expected to remain the same, while McLaren are expected to add personnel and engineering resources to the team. They will also put together a five-person board to oversee the program, headed by McLaren F1 CEO Zak Brown. Schmidt and Peterson will have seats on the board, as well as maintaining their 25-percent stake in ownership.
“Today’s announcement is a strong signal of our long-term commitment to IndyCar as both a racing series and a marketing platform for McLaren Racing and our sponsor partners,” Brown said according to RACER.com.
“I want to pay tribute to Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson who, together with the commitment and support of Arrow Electronics, have built a formidable team for us to keep growing and fulfill our common ambition of consistently challenging for wins, Indy 500s and series titles.”
Brown also stated that a major part of this partnership is AMSP Team President Taylor Kiel, who will remain in his leadership role with the team.
“Key to this is the continued leadership of Taylor Kiel as president of the team, who has been instrumental to the progress of the partnership so far. McLaren Racing believes IndyCar will continue to build our brand in North America, serve our expanding U.S. 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.”
This partnership is yet another example of the growth that the series has seen under the ownership of Roger Penske, who Brown also credited as a part of the decision.
“We see real potential for the series’ continued growth under the stewardship of Penske Entertainment and will continue to play an active role supporting the sport’s success, growing the global fan base and implementing our sustainability agenda to deliver on environmental and social commitments, including progressing diversity and inclusion in the industry,” he continued.
Peterson also took a moment to reflect on the growth of the outfit that he joined in 2013.
“We always believed that to accelerate our progress in IndyCar, partnering with a team of McLaren’s capability and F1 experience was a key strategy to propel us forward, and so it has proved,” he said.
“McLaren Racing now takes the baton and will combine the best of what they do with the best of what this team does to create something truly special.”
In a press conference on Sunday, Brown confirmed that the team will be adding a third car in the future by 2023. It is a possibility for a third car to come as soon as next season.
Since rebranding as AMSP in 2020, the team has collected two wins thanks to breakout star Patricio O’Ward, as well as seven other podium finishes. O’Ward lifted the team to fourth place in the driver’s championship and currently sits second in the championship in 2021. The team’s next race will be the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix later today, 8 August, at 1730 EST / 2230 BST.