McLaren will enter the IndyCar Series full-time next season, forming a partnership with existing squad Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to run two cars in the championship.
The British firm’s racing arm has been investigating a full-time IndyCar programme since backing double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso’s entry in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 in a Honda-powered Andretti Autosport car.
Under the new partnership, the existing Schmidt Peterson team will be renamed Arrow McLaren Racing SP, and will switch from the Honda engines it has used this year to Chevrolet units.
McLaren said that the “infrastructure of Arrow SPM [will] underpin the team’s operations, while McLaren adds technical expertise, commercial experience and marketing strength”.
There is no word yet on drivers for next season. IndyCar race winner James Hinchcliffe and ex-Formula 1 racer Marcus Ericsson currently drive for the team. Alonso has previously expressed interest in an expanded IndyCar programme, although it is not known if he would be interested in a full-time campaign.
Team co-founders Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson will continue in their current roles, with McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran leading the McLaren involvement. A dedicated group from McLaren Racing will work on the programme.
De Ferran, who won back-to-back driver’s titles in the CART World Series in 2000 and 2001, said: “IndyCar is a natural fit for McLaren, given our legacy and determination to succeed at the top levels of international motorsport. Our ambition, over time, is to consistently compete for wins and championships.”