McLaren Racing are set to increase their shareholding in the Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team, with McLaren becoming 75 percent owners of the team once the transaction is complete.
McLaren entered into a partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for 2020, marking their return to IndyCar on a fulltime basis for the first time in over 40 years.
This partnership is now set to become a majority shareholding for McLaren, although financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
A new five-person board will oversee the team, with three McLaren appointees as well as Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson continuing on the board. It will be chaired by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.
Taylor Kiel, President of Arrow McLaren SP, will stay on to lead and oversee the team's operations, reporting directly to the board.
The increase of McLaren's ownership of the IndyCar team underlines the continued growth of the British marque as a franchise across different motorsports. With Formula 1 and IndyCar entries as their flagship enterprises, McLaren have also entered the new electric Extreme E championship as well as having the McLaren Shadow eSports teams.
Brown, Schmidt and Peterson thrilled with the development
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown acknowledged the power of continuity as part of the new deal, and is hopeful of increasing the brand's visibility through its participation in IndyCar.
"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," Brown said.
“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."
Sam Schmidt, co-founder and co-owner of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, welcomed the developments by saying, “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 [Peterson] 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."
Peterson himself said he's looking forward to seeing what his team can manage with McLaren's prowess and resources.
"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."