Arrow McLaren SP approaches IndyCar with “humility and ambition”
The merged force of McLaren Racing and Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has formally unveiled its new logo and released a form of mission statement.
As members of what was the Arrow SPM IndyCar team visit with McLaren F1 at this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, the new squad has revealed its new logo, that combines the A of Arrow and the M of McLaren.
“The name Arrow McLaren SP marks a new chapter for our team, as two determined racing entities – McLaren Racing and Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – join forces with the combined goal to challenge for IndyCar success. That ambition is shared and supported by title partner, Arrow Electronics.”
Team co-owner Sam Schmidt set up his race team just 14 months after being rendered a quadriplegic in a shunt at Walt Disney World Speedway during preseason testing in 2000, and Sam Schmidt Motorsports accrued seven Indy Lights titles while also entering the Indy 500 as a one-off each year.
Buying the struggling FAZZT team in 2011, Schmidt formally entered the series full-time the following year, the start of the Dallara DW12 era in IndyCar. His driver Simon Pagenaud after staying sharp in the American Le Mans Series prototypes, returned to open-wheel with SSM and proved the ideal candidate for the single-car squad, scoring four podium finishes and taking fifth in the championship. In 2013, now in partnership with businessman Ric Peterson, Schmidt saw his squad expand to two cars and score its first two wins, with Pagenaud finishing third in the title race.
After two more victories in 2014, Pagenaud departed for Team Penske, so Schmidt hired James Hinchcliffe, who won at NOLA but two months later almost died in a shunt in practice for the Indy 500. However, the Canadian star came back to score pole at Indy in 2016 and then triumphed at Long Beach in 2017 and Iowa Speedway in 2018.
Arrow, which had been a principal team sponsor since 2015 and converted the semi autonomous Chevrolet Corvettes for Schmidt to relearn to drive, became full partners with SPM last year, while McLaren’s partnership for 2020 was announced in August of this year.
Today’s press release states: “What ties us together is a racer’s spirit and a fierce determination and will to overcome adversity in pursuit of achievement, typified by Sam’s journey and the example of a young Bruce McLaren. In the 1960s, the young New Zealander fearlessly moved from his humble home surroundings to Europe in search of racing success, and duly became the youngest grand prix winner at the age of 22.
“At the heart of Arrow McLaren SP is a shared ambition: to race, and to win. For our people, our partners, our fans, and for our sport. That common goal provides the perfect platform for our future as Arrow McLaren SP: the combination of Arrow SPM’s experience and knowledge of modern-day IndyCar racing, strengthened by McLaren Racing’s resources and drive to always move fearlessly forward with Arrow’s technology solutions.
“It’s a blend that we have to have in order to achieve our common goals of wins and titles. We come with ambition and humility in equal measure, fully aware of the strength of our opposition, and with total respect for the test the IndyCar Series provides.
“And while our people want to overcome those challenges on the track, we also aim to benefit our partners and the whole sport off it. It’s a journey we will embark on with our fans, bringing new ones to the series as we strive to grow not only a racing team but motorsport globally.”
The team's first test with Chevrolet engines will occur at Sebring short course on Nov. 5th when Hinchcliffe joins Dale Coyne Racing's Sebastien Bourdais to test the 2020 IndyCar aeroscreen.
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