Sauber reserve Theo Pourchaire has been handed his IndyCar debut by Arrow McLaren in Long Beach as David Malukas’ replacement.

The Arrow McLaren IndyCar Team announced today Théo Pourchaire will race the No. 6 onsemi Arrow McLaren Chevrolet at the Grand Prix of Long Beach as David Malukas recovers from a left wrist injury and surgery. Théo, a 20-year-old from Grasse, France, is set for his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut with Arrow McLaren following a successful racing season in Europe, where he clinched the 2023 FIA Formula 2 Championship.

He secured two wins and 10 podiums as he led his French-based team, ART Grand Prix, to their first Formula 2 title. Theo is the youngest driver to win races in both Formula 3 at age 16 (Austria in 2020) and then Formula 2 at 17 (Monaco in 2021).   In addition to his championship, Théo was runner up in the series in 2022 and finished fifth in 2021.Théo also clinched a second-place finish in his sole FIA Formula 3 Championship campaign in 2020, following titles in the ADAC Formula 4 Championship and French F4 Junior Championship in 2019 and 2018, respectively.

This year, Théo has served as a test and reserve driver for the Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber. As David’s recovery timeline extends beyond the originally anticipated six weeks, the team will continue to evaluate his health with his medical care team. Confirmation on the driver for the No. 6 NTT DATA Arrow McLaren Chevrolet for the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix will come in due course.

Gavin Ward, Team Principal, Arrow McLaren, said: “It’s a shame that David’s recovery is longer than we all originally anticipated. He’s been working with our team trainer very closely with what rehab and strength exercises are possible at this point, and the team’s been doing a great job in the meantime to work together through the changes they’ve had since his injury.

“Théo may be an unexpected driver in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES paddock this season, but we’re excited to see what he can do on the track in Long Beach and are thankful for Sauber in working with us to make it happen. He has a strong resume, especially for his young age, and he’s eager to work with us and put his driving to the test this weekend.”

Théo Pourchaire, Driver, said: “This is an amazing opportunity to drive with such a legendary team in a legendary motorsport series like the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. I’ve watched INDYCAR since I was a young kid, and the racing is incredible. I was thrilled to get the call from the team. I’m grateful that Zak, Gavin and Tony thought of me for this opportunity and for the team at Sauber to allow me to get on track at Long Beach. I am also sorry that the opportunity came as David continues to recover. It’s not going to be an easy task, but I’m ready for it.”

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[Note: The story is as per press release]