Arrow McLaren SP team co owner Sam Schmidt says his team are already seeing the benefits of their collaboration with McLaren Racing.
Speaking to Paddock Eye during a conference call ahead of Saturday’s NTT IndyCar Series season opening Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway Schmidt said that they have had six team personnel working In Woking throughout the lockdown.
Arrow McLaren SP have Patricio O’Ward and Oliver Askew in their line up for 2020 and it will be the oval appearance for Oliverr Askew who will take part in rookie practice on Saturday morning.
It will be the first race for the team with Chevrolet power and Schmidt said that he is excited to be seeing cars racing for the first time this season. Schmidt said he was disappointed that neither himself or Ric Peterson will be at the race tomorrow however he will have the same set up at home as he would have on the timing stand at the track and that he will be able to communicate with the team at the track.
Schmidt also praised Managing Director Taylor Kiel who he says has worked extremely hard at their Indianapolis base in overseeing pit stop practices.
All great questions.
We really were running hard since Arrow has been now a six-year partner, a major part of our program. McLaren being announced last August. It was really, really a steep learning curve getting all those parties integrated, everybody basically worked through the holidays. We were loaded for bear, ready to go in St. Pete. Quite a deflation not to get off there.
That’s been one of our I’d say bigger silver linings as far as the team through the COVID situation because there were so many things for us with McLaren. Part of the partnership is their technical abilities, some things that we don’t have access to because we don’t run multiple series, have 50 engineers. That had always been on the checklist to put our mutual heads together and learn as much as we could.
It wasn’t realistically going to take place until the end of the season. Our engineers were able to dive in. Six people over in Woking (England) that were not furloughed because they were part of our program, they were working non-stop with our guys to check some of those boxes. That part has been really good.
Then on the mechanical side, Taylor’s side, continue to work on pit stops, stay physically fit. Some of our individual guys, upright guys, electronic guys, gearbox guys, they were able to take some of their work home and just work on projects there.
We made the best of the situation, like I’m sure every other team did. In particular, this layoff really helped with the McLaren situation.