IndyCar CEO "Delighted" With McLaren Joining Series Next Year
IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said that he has "known about the McLaren deal with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for several weeks and is 'delighted' it is now official," according to Bruce Martin of NBCSPORTS.com. Arrow McLaren Racing SP will be a "Chevrolet-powered team" in the NTT IndyCar Series starting in '20. Miles said of the deal, "I have thought for some time this day would come. It was more of a matter of 'when,' than 'ever.'" Miles: "It's something [McLaren CEO] Zak Brown has been working on for a very long time, including this relationship. He and I were talking about this back in May, at least. It has been a long time coming, but that has been quite deliberate. I think they are committed to this strategy." ASPM had "one more year left on its contract with Honda, but is breaking that agreement in order to strike a deal with McLaren." Brown said, "McLaren is a great brand in the automotive industry with a great following. They are rich in racing history." McLaren was "once part of IndyCar's legacy" in the '70s, but left the series after the '78 season. IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti said that he had "seriously considered switching to Chevrolet" but "ultimately changed his mind and signed a contract extension" for Andretti Autosport to remain with Honda (NBCSPORTS.com, 8/12).
TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY: In Indianapolis, Jim Ayello wrote McLaren announcing it is "bringing its international brand and legendary name" to IndyCar "makes it a good day." IndyCar is "growing" in its "global presence." Adding a program with the "stature of McLaren in the fold" means "more eyes will descend upon the NTT IndyCar Series next year." Ayello: "Will McLaren fall on its face as it did at the Indianapolis 500; or will this iconic team bounce back from its May disaster and quickly ascend the IndyCar mountaintop?" The racing world will "want to watch" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/10).