Racing News (7055)
Racing News from around the World
Digital games publisher and developer 704Games has announced the worldwide release of NASCAR Heat Mobile, the first authentic NASCAR racing game on mobile to feature 40 stock cars racing simultaneously. NASCAR Heat Mobile is available globally today on the App Store for iPhone and iPad, as well as Google Play for Android devices.
704Games tapped veteran developer Firebrand Games, creators of NASCAR Unleashed, to build this exciting new casual mobile racing game. NASCAR Heat Mobile combines the thrill of 200MPH stock car racing with the ability to build a NASCAR empire in the Fan Zone. The free-to-play game is the first licensed NASCAR mobile racing game to feature 40 stock cars racing simultaneously across 23 NASCAR sanctioned tracks. Using cutting-edge technology and fun interactive gameplay, NASCAR Heat Mobile immerses players in the world of NASCAR.
"NASCAR Heat Mobile is a lot of fun," said Joey Logano, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ driver for Team Penske and 704Games investor. "I can take a few laps in my #22 Ford Fusion in NASCAR Heat Mobile anytime I want. It's a great pick-up-and-play racing game for fans."
Take the Wheel Against the Biggest Names in NASCAR
From the hills of Sonoma to the short-track spectacle of Bristol, NASCAR Heat Mobile features all 23 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series-sanctioned tracks. Players can start their own career or choose their favorite NASCAR driver to compete. As players race through a season, they'll complete challenges to help them improve their stock cars for better on-track performance.
Build the Ultimate NASCAR Empire in the Fan Zone
NASCAR Heat Mobile features two distinct worlds to play. Not only can fans race as their favorite Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers, NASCAR Heat Mobile also features a world-building component called the Fan Zone. Players can invest their race winnings into their Fan Zone to enhance their stock car or build their fan base to generate even more earnings for their race program. From blimps to hot dog carts and fuel stations, players can customize their Fan Zone with over 35 buildings and decorations. Each building has a special reward to help players improve on-track performance.
NASCAR Heat Mobile is available to download today for free in the App Store for iPhone and iPad and Google Play for Android devices. To learn more about NASCAR Heat Mobile, visit the game's social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
704 Games PR
In 2013, a young 15-year-old Kyle Weatherman made his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut at the Salem Speedway. Weatherman finished fourth that afternoon and gained the attention of everyone in the garage. This weekend will mark the Wentzville, Missouri natives eighth race at the historic high-banks as he will be behind the No. 78 St. Charles Glass Chevrolet for Mason Mitchell Motorsports (MMM).
Two weeks ago, at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Weatherman and the No. 78 team had a dominating day. The team won practice, captured the General Tire pole award and finished second after leading a race high 134 laps.
MMM has elected to bring the same car that finished runner-up at the Fairgrounds Speedway two weeks ago.
“Salem is where I made my first start in ARCA,” Weatherman stated. “We’ve had several great runs, led a lot of laps. But there's still one column needing to be checked off and that’s a win. We’re bringing a lot of momentum to the track this weekend. We had a very strong showing at Nashville and we look to build on it this weekend.
“Salem is a very abrasive track on tires so saving tires will be very important this weekend. As you saw at Nashville tires are very important and Salem and they will be more important here because of the old pavement. Throughout a run, you will slow down 2-3 seconds.”
Weatherman enters the third race of the 2017 campaign second in national championship standings. This weekend also marks the second race of the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge. Weatherman enters second in short track points. The 19-year-old won the Short Track Challenge in 2015.
#KyleKares: The N.O.W. Matters More Foundation crushes the stigma associated with substance use disorders and recovery by promoting awareness, discussions, and understanding of the disease of addiction & treatment solutions available. We inspire action to get help NOW regardless of the barriers. We also help individuals and families navigate the difficult business of recovery by vetting programs and helping them find one that best meets their treatment needs, and providing a partial or full scholarship when necessary & available. Our motto is that NOW matters more because your tomorrow depends on it. #NowMattersMore Visit www.NowMattersMore.org for resources and more information.
Weatherman at Salem: Weatherman has seven starts at the Salem Speedway, earning four top five finishes, five top tens and leading 150 laps.
Chassis Information: Kyle will race chassis No. 589 out of the MMM stable at Salem on Sunday. Kyle raced this car to a second place finish at the Fairgrounds Speedway two weeks ago. Weatherman sat on the pole and led 134 laps in the 200-lap event. In 17 starts the chassis has two wins (Iowa 15 and Springfield 16), 12 top-five finishes and 15 top-ten finishes.
TUNE IN INFORMATION: The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 at the Salem Speedway will air on a tape delayed basis on MAVTV at a later date. The ARCA Racing Series will practice from 12:00-1:30 pm. General Tire Pole Qualifying begins at 3:30 Saturday afternoon. Sunday the 101st ARCA race at Salem will begin at 2:15 pm. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring and live chat of all on-track activity.
MDM Motorsports and driver Harrison Burton earned their first victory together on Saturday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The win was Burton's first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win.
The Zombie 125 was originally scheduled to run 125 laps. However, due to inclement weather that has plagued Bristol Motor Speedway all weekend long, race No. 3 of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season was reduced to only 70 laps.
When the call was made to end the race, it was Harrison Burton who landed in Victory Lane. Driving the No. 12 Dex Imaging Toyota, the Huntersville, NC native started on the pole after rain cancelled Friday’s qualifying session and led a total of 68 laps.
In only 17 starts in his career, the 16-year-old earned his first win at the .533-mile paved track. “It’s pretty cool to get your first win in the K&N Series,” Burton said after his win. “We had a pretty rough season last year. It’s really cool to come back this year and have things start to click.”
The wait was worth it for the NASCAR Next driver. “I was excited to come back and get the win,” Burton said. “It was probably something I circled on my calendar for a whole year. I knew we had a strong car the last time we came here. I felt like I was confident here so just excited to get the win for sure. I would have liked to cross the line in dry conditions but I’ll take it. I never wanted it to rain so bad in my life.”
With this win under his belt, Burton has gained confidence for his upcoming starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. “I feel like it increases my confidence,” he said. “I know that I can get it done in a big, heavy stock car. I was pretty confident in the Super Late Model divisions which are light and high horsepower and really fast. I feel like I struggled a little bit last year with the transfer to a K&N car but now I feel like I can go out and run with the best of them.”
After the win in Bristol, Burton currently leads the K&N Pro Series East standings with 129 points. “We want to make sure we don’t count our chickens before the eggs hatch,” Burton said of championship possibilities. “We have to take it one race at a time and go to every race with the mindset of ‘we’re there to win, not have good points days’. It’s such a short season, you really need to perform quickly and go to the racetrack with a high level of performance. It’s important for us to stay aggressive.”
Mexico native Ruben Garcia, Jr. finished second, his best finish in the K&N Series, in the No. 6 Sunoco Toyota. “We’re getting better,” he said. “I know if I keep putting in my effort every time we hit the track, there will be a checkered flag.”
Although Burton was dominant throughout the race, Collin Cabre, who now sits ninth in the standings with 88 points, led two laps. The driver of the No. 2 UTI/NTI Toyota ended the day in Bristol with a sixth-place finish.
There were three cautions for 21 laps and the race took 39 minutes and 19 seconds to run.
The Zombie 125 will air Thursday at 11 PM ET on NBC Sports Network. The K&N Pro Series East division is back in action at South Boston, Va. On May 6.
Indy 500 Driver Jay Howard to be Sponsored by Fertility Center as part of Infertility Awareness Initiative24 Apr 2017 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Cunningham Motorsports, in conjunction with Roush Fenway Racing, will add Ty Majeski to the roster for five races this season in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
Majeski, a Roush Fenway Racing development driver, is set to make his debut with Cunningham at Pocono Raceway on June 9 in the No. 99 Ford Fusion. From there, the Seymour, Wisc. native will run at Michigan International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Kansas Speedway.
“Cunningham is truly excited to help continue the development of Ty as a driver and have him race with us at a few events this year,” said Cunningham co-owner Kerry Scherer. “He’s a young driver and a great talent that is on the right path for a successful future in NASCAR. It’ll be fun to watch him later this season and see what he can do in a Cunningham car.”
The 22-year-old made his ARCA debut last season at Madison International Speedway and ran three more races in 2016, including Chicago and Kansas. Majeski has built a successful late model resume where he's competed in the ARCA Midwest Tour, taking the championship in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“Ty has shown a tremendous amount of potential in his racing career,” said Roush Fenway Racing NASCAR Xfinity Series Team Manager Eric Peterson. “We are very excited to partner with Cunningham Motorsports this season to help with Ty’s development at select ARCA races. This is a great opportunity for him to get more experience on intermediate tracks and we are looking forward to his first race at Pocono in June.”
Cunningham and Majeski came together earlier this year at the ARCA Daytona test…having Majeski drive a third car in the two-day test. He’s also spent time around the Cunningham shop, helping the guys out and watching how the team operates. Now, Majeski looks forward to coming back with Cunningham to add some new tracks to his resume and use the experience to help further his racing career.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to run some races with Cunningham this year,” said Majeski. “They have a successful history in developing drivers and I’m proud to be a part of it. It will be great for me to run some of the intermediate tracks to prepare the best I can for my Xfinity starts this year and I can’t thank Briggs Cunningham, Kerry Scherer, Paul Andrews, Chad Bryant and all the guys at Cunningham enough for this opportunity.”
Majeski will drive alongside full-time Cunningham drivers Shane Lee and Dalton Sargeant in those five races. He is slated to make his Xfinity debut at Iowa Speedway in June.
Cunningham Motorsports PR
Conor Daly is the latest Verizon IndyCar Series driver attempting to become an "American Ninja Warrior."
Following in the athletic footsteps of fellow drivers Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Josef Newgarden, Daly will venture to San Antonio this weekend to participate in a regional qualifier for the Emmy-nominated NBC obstacle course challenge show that will air its ninth season this summer.
The AJ Foyt Racing driver got a taste of the task ahead when the show held a regional competition last April in Indianapolis that included Castroneves, Kanaan and Newgarden as participants. Daly was permitted to try one of the obstacles, the Circuit Board, for an online segment of "American Ninja Warrior: Crashing the Course."
While Daly didn't fare well that day, he is excited to compete in San Antonio. The episode from the San Antonio regional is scheduled to air June 19, the Monday leading in to the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America (June 25, NBCSN).
"When I got the call saying it was a possibility for me to compete on 'American Ninja Warrior,' I was pretty stoked," Daly said. "After seeing my fellow Verizon IndyCar Series drivers compete last year, it looked like a lot of fun. I haven't had the chance to do much ninja training yet, but since we are already in season I'm pretty happy with my physical fitness level.
"I certainly was not born a nimble ninja, I've always been a bigger guy, so this should definitely be interesting."
Since he experienced the "American Ninja Warrior" competition in 2016, Castroneves offered some sound advice for Daly.
"Take your time, don't rush into the next obstacle," the Team Penske driver said. "Obviously, observe the others that are able to pass through. Don't focus on only one stage, that was my mistake last year. You should be thinking about the other ones. I was so worried about the first two that I forgot the third one. So if he can see all the stages and look through those things, hopefully he can do really well."
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe hasn't been through the grueling competition, but as one of Daly's best friends, felt compelled to offer his advice as well.
"We saw last year with Josef, Helio and TK that it's no mean feat to do that," said Hinchcliffe. "Those guys are all good athletes and it certainly highlighted how difficult of a challenge that competing on it is. I wish him all the best and just hope he comes back in one piece.
"One thing I have to say is that he doesn't get to come back after it and call himself a ninja. No way!"
"American Ninja Warrior" is conducting regional competitions in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Denver, Cleveland and Daytona Beach, Florida, over the next two months. Qualifiers from each of the regionals advance to the Las Vegas finals in late June. There, anyone who can conquer the Mt. Midoriyama course can win $1 million.
Castroneves, who has also represented INDYCAR on "Dancing with the Stars" and "Celebrity Family Feud," recognizes the importance of Verizon IndyCar Series drivers appearing on popular national TV shows.
"It helps people who are not race fans see not only that drivers are athletes and able to do other things than driving a race car, but they can actually see the personality of each individual," said the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner. "We all are able to demonstrate that we don't need to be punching people to get attention."
NBC's partner network, NBCSN, is telecasting 12 Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2017.
Although Jeremy Sundt grew up at the racetrack with his parents, he had no interest in making motorsports his career. Instead, his goal was to be a teacher.
In a way, it's not too surprising he ended up at Porsche working on race cars as Sundt has been what he calls "a product support guy" since he was 15 years old - working in a bicycle shop to pay his way through college. He's been teaching people how to use things correctly for decades.
Series veteran Robby Gordon had his Toyo Tires and KMC Wheels hooked up on Sunday afternoon jumping out to an early lead from the ninth starting position. With no one able to contest Gordon the Orange, California native would capture his second SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks victory of the 2017 season in convincing fashion.
From the wave of the green flag you could tell it was Gordon’s race to win as he weaved through the hornets’ nest of trucks in front of him. As all of the other competitors made contact with each other Gordon steered clear and was able to move into the second position by Lap-2.
Successfully making a move on Burbank, California driver Erik Davis at the start of Lap-3 for the lead was all that was needed. The final 9 laps Gordon went uncontested to claim victory at Long Beach once again.
Fast qualifier and Saturday winner Matt Brabham of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia driving the SafeCraft Safety Equipment truck would start in the twelfth position and would not have ability to the make it to the front as easy as Gordon. Getting stuck behind some slower trucks Brabham really had to work his way to get to the front. Never having a real good chance to contest Gordon for the lead, Brabham would settle for second place.
Gavin Harlien of Mesa, Arizona had a career weekend behind the wheel of his Royal Purple Synthetic Oil truck. Capturing a third place finish on Saturday, Harlien was eager to improve his position on the podium. Moving to the front of the field early in the event from his eighth starting spot, Harlien was able to hold off the charging trucks behind him to finish third for the second day in a row.
LIVE/ United Fiber and Data driver Paul Morris of Norwell, Queensland, Australia made early contact in the race with another driver where his hood would blow up in his face and hinder his vision for the first half of the event. Morris would shake the piece blocking his view during the competition caution, and would pass truck after truck to move into the fourth position. After challenging Gavin Harlien multiple time for the third position unsuccessfully, Morris held his ground and would finish in the fourth spot.
TruFuel driver Jeff Hoffman of Phoenix, Arizona raced to the front of the field from his sixth starting position and would remain there the entire race. Battling hard with the likes of Paul Morris, Matt Brabham, and Gavin Harlien. Hoffman would go on to finish in the fifth position for the second day in a row. After having seven asphalt races now under his belt in 2017 Hoffman has now gotten very comfortable behind the wheel of his SST to where he can be a front runner each time out.
Scottsdale, Arizona driver Arie Luyendyk Jr. in the LIVE/United Fiber & Data truck would hangout around near the rear of the field most of the race after making contact with the tire wall. The younger Luyendyk would recover to finish the 12-lap event in the sixth position one spot better than the day prior.
For the second day in a row Indianapolis, Indiana driver Davey Hamilton would run at the front of the field at the beginning of the race contending for his first ever podium. However, after the competition caution Hamilton would feel the swarm of other trucks behind him falling back position after position to ultimately finish in the seventh spot.
Anaheim, California driver Myles Cheek making his second ever SST start on Sunday proved the young racer was feeling right at home in a SST truck as he hung around the front of the field from his fifth place starting position until getting loose battling Gavin Harlien for the third position on Lap-5. Cheek would bounce off the tire wall and damage the front end of his CMI Precision Machining/ Outlaw LED truck. After making a trip down pit road to remove the hood, Cheek would limp the No. 257 around the track the final circuits to be credited with the eighth position.
After bicycling his truck and crashing hard into the wall on Saturday afternoon Erik Davis of Burbank, California would start from the pole position on Sunday. Davis would lead the first two laps of the race before being over taken and running mid pack until a Lap-8 spin. Davis would recover and finish the Always Evolving truck in the ninth position.
United Fiber and Data/ LIVE driver Bill Hynes of Nazareth, Pennsylvania whom was fighting a case of the flu all weekend would fight through it and run a steady and clean race go on to finish the ten-lap event in the tenth position.
After hard contact on Saturday afternoon the SST crew worked hard overnight to get Lodi, California driver Troy Deide ready for Sunday afternoons race, but after pulling onto the track for the sight in lap Diede immediately pulled Diede Construction entry directly onto the pit road with brake issues. The No. 441 would not start the race and was credited with the eleventh position.
The overall standings over the three races would see Matt Brabham first, with Robby Gordon claiming second, and Paul Morris rounding out the top three.
SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks will continue the 2017 SST World Championship with Rounds No. 8, 9, & 10; May 5, 6 & 7 at the Barbagallo Raceway in Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
Tickets to the race are available through the SuperCars website at http://www.supercars.com/perth/.
After an absence of 38 years, McLaren is to return to the Indianapolis 500 next month, using Honda engines.
The McLaren-Honda-Andretti entry, a Dallara DW12 chassis as used by all Verizon IndyCar Series teams, will be driven by current McLaren-Honda Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso, who has started 275 Grands Prix, has won 32 of those races, has become Formula 1 world champion twice, and has been Formula 1 runner-up three times.
Its engine will be a Honda 2.2-litre twin-turbo V6, limited by IndyCar regulations to 12,000rpm.
Since the Indianapolis 500 will take place on May 28, the same day as the Monaco Grand Prix, Fernando will not race at Monaco this year. The Indianapolis 500 will be the only 2017 IndyCar race in which Fernando will compete, however, and the Monaco Grand Prix will therefore be the only 2017 Formula 1 race in which he will not compete.
In due course McLaren-Honda will announce the identity of the driver who will race Fernando’s car at Monaco.
Fernando Alonso said:
“I’m immensely excited that I’ll be racing in this year’s Indy 500, with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport.
“The Indy 500 is one of the most famous races on the global motorsport calendar, rivalled only by the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix [which Fernando has won twice, one of those victories at the wheel of a McLaren (in 2007)], and it’s of course a regret of mine that I won’t be able to race at Monaco this year. But Monaco will be the only 2017 Grand Prix I’ll be missing, and I’ll be back in the cockpit of the McLaren-Honda MCL32 for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in early June.
“I’ve never raced an IndyCar car before, and neither have I ever driven on a superspeedway, but I’m confident that I’ll get to grips with it fast. I’ve watched a lot of IndyCar action on TV and online, and it’s clear that great precision is required to race in close proximity with other cars on the far side of 220mph [354km/h]. I realize I’ll be on a steep learning curve, but I’ll be flying to Indianapolis from Barcelona immediately after the Spanish Grand Prix, practising our McLaren-Honda-Andretti car at Indy from May 15 onwards, hopefully clocking up a large number of miles every day, and I know how good the Andretti Autosport guys are. I’ll be proud to race with them, and I intend to mine their knowledge and expertise for as much info as I possibly can.
“I’ve won the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and it’s one of my ambitions to win the Triple Crown [the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours], which has been achieved by only one driver in the history of motorsport: Graham Hill. It’s a tough challenge, but I’m up for it. I don’t know when I’m going to race at Le Mans, but one day I intend to. I’m only 35: I’ve got plenty of time for that.”
Zak Brown (Executive Director, McLaren Technology Group) said:
“As an American, albeit one who fell in love with Formula 1 at a very young age, I’ve always regarded the Indy 500 as a fantastic motor race.
“For that reason I’m particularly delighted to have been able to bring McLaren back to Indianapolis in my very first year as McLaren’s Executive Director. Michael [Andretti] is an old friend of mine, and a man I respect enormously, and his Andretti Autosport organization is one of the best in the business. Michael is a winner – indeed his team won the Indy 500 last year with Alexander Rossi, who will be one of Fernando’s team-mates at Indy next month – and I couldn’t be happier that Fernando will be making his IndyCar debut in one of Michael’s cars.
“Equally, this project wouldn’t have been possible without Honda’s support and encouragement. And our car – the McLaren-Honda-Andretti – will be decked out in the papaya orange livery made famous by our founder Bruce McLaren, and in which Johnny Rutherford drove McLaren IndyCars to Indy 500 victory in both 1974 and 1976.
“Could Fernando win this year’s Indy 500? Well, I wouldn’t be so silly as to make any such rash prediction, but I expect him to be in the mix. Put it this way: the team he’ll be racing for won the race last year, using the same Honda engine, and he’s the best racing driver in the world. That’s quite a compelling combination. So, yes, as I say, he’ll be in the mix.
“OK, equally, he’ll have his work cut out to acclimatise to running at superspeedway velocities, but ultimately it’s quality that counts in all forms of motorsport, and Fernando is very definitely quality. He’s ballsy and brave too. Also, the differences between Formula 1 cars and Indy cars are less marked now than they were in the past. Formula 1 cars weigh about the same as Indy cars these days – just north of 700kg [1543lb] – and Formula 1 cars actually develop more power than IndyCar cars do, whereas it used to be the other way around in the past.
“I’ll be at Indy to see McLaren’s return to the Brickyard, and I’ll be a happy man on that day. But I’ll be in constant contact with Eric [Boullier], who’ll be running McLaren-Honda’s Formula 1 operation at Monaco as per usual.”
Michael Andretti (Chief Executive Officer, Andretti Autosport) said:
“It’s a great honor to partner with McLaren for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 and to bring Fernando into one of our Andretti Autosport Hondas. I want to thank Zak [Brown], Honda and McLaren for this tremendous opportunity. We've been working very closely in the planning of this new partnership and I believe we've laid the foundation for a successful month of May. We're looking forward to giving Fernando an effort in reaching one of his biggest career goals of winning the Indy 500.
“Fernando’s lack of experience on superspeedways is not of concern to me. I do believe that the Indianapolis 500 is one of the best places for a rookie to start because there is the opportunity for so much practice time on the track - and, as we have demonstrated, it can be won by a rookie. Fernando is a great talent and I have full confidence that he will represent very strongly for McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport.
“Fernando’s addition to the team takes our stable of entries to six, working in a cooperative effort. This sharing of experience and knowledge is what makes Andretti Autosport stand out and gives us that extra competitive edge.”
Katsuhide Moriyama (Operating Officer, Chief Officer, Brand and Communication Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.) said:
“We are delighted that we are able to race in the historical Indy 500 as McLaren-Honda-Andretti in order to make Fernando Alonso’s dream come true.
“We are also honored that Honda can become a part of this ambitious project as an engine supplier. We are grateful to Mr. Andretti who willingly accepted our offer and now shares this dream with us. Fernando is one of the best racing drivers in the world, and I strongly believe that he will put on a great performance in one of the world’s most historical motor races, the Indy 500.
“Honda will provide our maximum support to him and the team, as well as the other Honda drivers competing.
“We can’t wait to see him racing on the legendary Indianapolis track.”
Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa (Executive Committee Principal, McLaren Technology Group) said:
“McLaren is more than merely a Formula 1 team, and has been for many years.
“Alongside McLaren Racing, which organisation runs our McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team, McLaren Automotive also produces some of the world’s fastest, most capable and most desirable high-performance sports cars, and our McLaren Applied Technologies operation is also growing both rapidly and profitably. Indeed, McLaren Applied Technologies supplies ECUs [engine control units] for motorsport series all over the world, including all current Formula 1 cars and indeed all current IndyCar cars, including the McLaren-Honda-Andretti car that Fernando will be racing at Indy next month.
“Unsurprisingly, the US is one of McLaren’s most significant export markets, and North America is one of our most important business development regions too. So, quite apart from my natural excitement about Fernando’s imminent participation in this year’s Indy 500, I’m also delighted that in so doing he’ll be further enlarging the ever-increasing size of McLaren’s awareness footprint in the world’s largest economy.”
Mansour Ojjeh (Executive Committee Principal, McLaren Technology Group) said:
“Even though I’ve been a major shareholder and director of McLaren for more than 30 years, I arrived after our first IndyCar era had come to an end [in the late ’70s]. Nonetheless, I’ve attended the Indy 500, and I came away hugely impressed by the scope and scale of this enormous and well-organised event, and the sheer enthusiasm of the hundreds of thousands of fans in attendance.
“McLaren first entered the Indy 500 in 1970. We didn’t do well that year – it was the year of the sad and sudden death of our founder Bruce McLaren of course – but at Indianapolis the following year, 1971, Mark Donohue qualified his McLaren M16 in pole position. The next year, in a privateer M16B operated by Roger Penske, Donohue became the first man to win the Indy 500 in a McLaren. Johnny Rutherford would repeat the feat in both 1974 and 1976, both times in a full-works McLaren, resplendent in papaya orange.
“So, more than 30 years later, I’m pleased and proud that we’re about to embark on a new IndyCar era for McLaren, this time with Andretti Autosport and Honda. The Indy 500 is the only IndyCar race we’ll be entering this year, but we may possibly repeat that in years to come and it’s just possible that we may even run a full-works McLaren IndyCar operation at some point in the future. We’ll see.
“Equally, we may potentially enter the Le Mans 24 Hours again some time – we won it outright in 1995 with our iconic McLaren F1 GTR – but to be clear we have absolutely no definite plans to do so at this stage.”
Mark Miles (Chief Executive Officer, IndyCar) said:
“The entire IndyCar community – competitors, fans, media, everyone – are delighted and excited at the prospect of a driver as brilliant as Fernando making his debut in our series. Even better, he'll be making that debut in the greatest race of our year: the world-famous Indy 500. And which car will Fernando be driving this year? That's right: a Honda-powered Andretti Autosport car – the same package that won last year’s race. Could history repeat itself? Stranger things have happened.
“But, whether or not Fernando wins this year, I'm thrilled that the name of McLaren will be returning to Indianapolis. Three times in the 1970s the Indy 500 was won by a driver at the wheel of a McLaren – one win for Mark Donohue and two wins for Johnny Rutherford – and I’m sure Johnny will be at the Brickyard again this year to cheer on his old team.
“Last but not least, we should all remember Bruce McLaren, the team's founder, a brilliant driver-engineer-entrepreneur who was tragically killed while testing a McLaren M8D Can-Am car at Goodwood 47 long years ago, and who was finally and rightfully inducted to the Indianapolis Hall of Fame only this year.”
Follow McLaren.com, the McLaren App and McLaren’s official Indy 500-focused Twitter feed @McLarenIndy for all of the build-up and live insights from the team.