McLaren Racing announced its intention to buy a majority stake of Arrow SP IndyCar outfit, having returned to the series with them with minority stake.
The IndyCar team founded by Sam Schmidt in 2001, saw Ric Peterson joining in 2013 to become ‘Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’, until the arrival of McLaren with minority stake in 2020, which transformed it to ‘Arrow McLaren SP’.
With one and a half seasons done, McLaren has decided to expand its control and buy 75% of the stake in a big move. The team will now be governed by a new five-person board, where the British manufacturer will have three appointments.
McLaren Racing CEO, Zk Brown, will chair the board with Schmidt and Peterson continuing as well, along with Taylor Kiel, President of AMSP, who will continue to lead and oversee the operations of the IndyCar team, reporting directly to the board.
As per the release, the announcement solidfies the McLaren Racing portfolio with F1, IndyCar, Extreme E and its Shadow ESports programme. “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,” said Brown.
“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 fulfil our common ambition of consistently challenging for wins, Indy 500s and series titles. 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 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. We see real potential for the series’s 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.”
At the same time, Schmidt, stated: “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. With McLaren we’re moving forward again. As we’ve seen we’re now a regular contender and ultimately for Ric and I, we are here to win races, win 500s and win championships.
“This next step ensures the resources to do that for a long time ahead. I want to say that we couldn’t have done this without Arrow and Lucas Oil. They really were the foundational sponsors this team was built on and we wouldn’t be here without them. 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.”
While Peterson added: “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. 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. Sam and I are immensely proud of what we have built together through our partnership over the past nine years, and look forward to continue being part of this team as a partner with McLaren Racing to see Arrow McLaren SP go from strength to strength.”
And finally, Mike Long, CEO and President, Arrow Electronics, added: “As title sponsor to Arrow McLaren SP since the team’s very early days and a strategic partner to McLaren Racing, we couldn’t be more pleased to see these two world-class organizations come together as one going forward.
“Our partnership with Sam, Ric and Zak is built on a shared passion for innovation, winning, and the belief in the power of technology to make life better, as evidenced by our work on the Sam Car, Sam Suit, and the UK Ventilator program. We are very happy with both teams in Indy and F1 and believe we have some of the hardest-working and fastest drivers and crew in the sport, and we are only getting started. Arrow stands proudly behind the teams. We look forward to many more wins to come.”
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