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McLaren axes driver after just five races for Le Mans winner

McLaren's IndyCar team has made yet another change to its #6 car.

McLaren has released Formula 2 champion Theo Pourchaire from its IndyCar team, snapping up rookie and Le Mans class winner Nolan Siegel. 

Pourchaire was drafted in at Long Beach for the injured David Malukas, who was recovering from wrist surgery following a pre-season bike accident.

Reigning F2 champion Pourchaire was signed to partner Pato O'Ward and Alexander Rossi for every round bar the Indy 500 and those which clash with Super Formula, with Callum Ilott deputising at the Brickyard.

Pourchaire took a career-best 10th place in Detroit, before a 13th place last time out at Road America, but has now been dropped for Siegel, who won the LMP2 class on his Le Mans 24 Hours debut last weekend.

Racing for McLaren boss Zak Brown's United Autosports concern, Siegel was bumped from the Indy 500 field after a crash in qualifying for the Dale Coyne Racing team. 

He has joined McLaren on a multi-year contract, and will start driving for the team with immediate effect, starting with this weekend's round at Laguna Seca.

Stability is key

"I’m looking forward to jumping right in with the Arrow McLaren team this week and confirming my place in IndyCar in papaya moving forward," Siegel explained.

"This is an unexpected jump, but I’m thrilled to be in this position after a rewarding run in the Indy NXT by Firestone series with HMD Motorsports. 

"I am looking forward to this new journey and learning alongside the entire team starting this weekend in my home state."

McLaren IndyCar boss Gavin Ward added that he felt the move would bring "stability" to the team.

"Stability and sustained growth are key to our long-term game plan here, and this is a significant step in that mission," he said. 

"First, I want to thank Théo for his time filling in on the No. 6 car with us in recent weeks. We’ve been working through musical chairs all season, and ultimately, making this change to Nolan now that he’s available gives us the chance to build a foundation for the future. 

"He is a young, talented driver with an immense amount of experience at this stage of his career and we’re excited to continue on the upward journey together."

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