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Arrow McLaren SP launches all-new 2020 IndyCar livery

The striking new color scheme on the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet IndyCars were revealed today in Indianapolis, with the heavy use of papaya orange highlighting the return to IndyCar of McLaren as a full-time works team.

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Arrow McLaren SP 2020

Arrow McLaren SP 2020
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Photo by: Arrow SPM

Arrow McLaren SP 2020

Arrow McLaren SP 2020
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Photo by: Arrow SPM

Arrow McLaren SP 2020

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Photo by: Arrow SPM

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Photo by: Arrow SPM

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Photo by: Arrow SPM

Arrow McLaren SP 2020

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Photo by: Arrow SPM

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Photo by: Arrow SPM

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Photo by: Arrow SPM

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Photo by: Arrow SPM

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Photo by: Arrow SPM

 

McLaren withdrew from U.S. open-wheel racing at the end of 1979 when the Ron Dennis/John Barnard Project Four company merged with McLaren in the UK and elected to focus on Formula 1. Through the 1970s, McLaren built a strong legacy in Indy car racing, both as a works outfit, and through other teams – notably Penske – running McLaren chassis.

Three times the Indy 500 winner was racing a McLaren (Mark Donohue in 1972, Johnny Rutherford in ’74 and ’76), while Roger McCluskey in ’73 and Tom Sneva in ’77 landed the Indy car championship driving McLarens. By the time the brand withdrew, it had amassed 28 race victories, 18 of which were earned by the works team.

McLaren backed Andretti Autosport-Honda’s one-off entry for Fernando Alonso in the 2017 Indy 500, and saw him qualify fifth and lead 27 laps before engine failure. An attempt to go it alone for last year’s 500 resulted in an infamous failure to qualify for Alonso.

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However, joining forces with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for 2020 has fulfilled McLaren CEO Zak Brown’s vow made last April, when he said that the marque’s full-time return to Indy car racing was “a matter of when, rather than if.”

The team switched to Chevrolet engines as a result of Honda falling out with McLaren over the course of their most recent and unsuccessful liaison in Formula 1, from 2015 through ’17.

The team also ditched both of its incumbent drivers: ex-F1 racer Marcus Ericsson has now joined Chip Ganassi Racing for his second year in the NTT IndyCar Series, while fan favorite James Hinchcliffe, who scored the last three wins for Arrow SPM, still has a contract with the squad – the third and final year of his current deal – but has been dropped from the driver line-up.

The pair have been replaced by 2018 Indy Lights champion Patricio O’Ward who has made eight IndyCar starts, and reigning Lights champ Oliver Askew.

O’Ward, who replaces Hinchcliffe in the #5 car, commented on the livery: "It really shows what we are trying to portray and what we are trying to do in this new partnership between Arrow and McLaren. I think the car is aggressive, lethal, and looks fast.

"2020 is the start of something new, not just for me but for the whole Arrow McLaren SP team. It's a new partnership between Arrow, McLaren and Schmidt Peterson and I think it's great. The series is growing, the team is growing exponentially, and the goals are high.

“There are many people working hard to make things happen and within those people working hard are Oliver Askew and I. We want to give the team what they're giving us. We want to return results by doing well. It's definitely a year that I'm really looking forward to and I can't wait to get started in St. Pete. I'm sure all the hard work we've put in this offseason is going to pay off."

Askew, who’ll pilot the #7 car  got his first run in the car three weeks ago, added: “I think we’re all looking forward to the opening round at St Pete which will also be my rookie debut, but there is still a lot of work and testing going on behind the scenes to make sure we show up as well prepared as possible.

“I think we have a really passionate and smart group of people behind Pato and I. I can’t wait to represent Arrow McLaren SP and all of our sponsors this season.”

Team co-owner Sam Schmidt said: “This event is not only a car launch but it is representative of thousands of hours of effort by our team members and partners. I’m so incredibly excited to build upon our partnership with Arrow and add one of the most iconic names in motorsport, McLaren, to the team. I can’t wait to see these cars on track next week going fast with our young, talented and exciting driver lineup.”

McLaren’s sporting director Gil de Ferran commented: “Today is a moment to reflect on the journey we have just begun. In the few months since we announced Arrow McLaren SP we have signed two of the most exciting young drivers in recent memory and maintained and secured the support of great partners.

“This occasion is also an opportunity to acknowledge the challenges ahead and make a pact with ourselves that nothing other than our full effort and commitment will suffice.”

“This team is an incredible partnership between our longtime partner, Arrow, and the historic brand that is McLaren,” said team managing director Taylor Kiel. “I think this partnership makes us one of the most unique teams in the IndyCar paddock and you can see that in the livery. The cars look aggressive, fast ,and are surely going to make an impression on track.

“The entire team has worked hard to get  us where we are today and I can’t wait for that hard work to pay off in 2020.”

Arrow McLaren SP 2020

Arrow McLaren SP 2020

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About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Patricio O'Ward , Oliver Askew
Teams McLaren , Arrow SPM
Author David Malsher-Lopez
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