Arrow McLaren Race Director Gavin Ward says it has been a busy off-season for the team as they expanded from a two-car to a three-car full-time program in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2023.
Speaking to Paddock Eye at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday, Ward said that it has been a busy off-season as they expanded.
It’s been a busy off-season in a lot of ways, not just on the recruitment side, but also on the production side in terms of getting everything you need to run these cars. At the end of the day we are a racing team and we always want to do better. We have put a lot of investment into development as well.. It’s one thing to recruit people, it’s another thing to onboard them and get them up to speed and get them working together. That’s been the story so far.
We asked Ward about the McLaren Formula One Team and he said that having the F1 team has been a strong resource.
If you look at the team and who we’re up against in the IndyCar Series. We’re here to fight the Ganassi’s, the Penske’s, the Andretti’s, these are teams that run in multiple series. They have the advantage in general of running them under the one roof and they have a lot of shared resources and and economy of scale. A feather in our cap is access to the technology and know-how of the Formula One team, Formula E, Extreme E under the umbrella of McLaren Racing. So, it’s an important thing for us to leverage to try to compete with the teams who have shred racing resources.
What do you put your great performance this weekend down to at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
Hard work! This place is not an easy place to make fast race cars. and we are very proud of what this team has been able to achieve this year. Given the extra work load. But we’ve got, this team when I joined, already had a great group of people. I think Nick Sneider, the performance director and Billy Vicent and Max Nayron, they deserve a lot of credit for where we’re at right now. For me, it’s been fairly simple I would big up there contributions there. A lot of detailed work.
How advantageous is it having Alexander Rossi and Brian Barnhart on the team, given that they have worked together previously?
I think it’s good, I was thinking about this the other day. We put a lot of thought into how we composed the team and the car groups this year. On one hand, you might think ok, we’re growing the team by 100 percent. It spread out the people who have been here across all the cars. it can take years to develop a really cohesive, high-performing group organically. You have to ask yourself, do you potentially take a hit across all of your cars or do you understand, this driver is new anyways and what mixture of new and old are comfortable?
Alex having Brian on his stand is really helpful because you’ve got someone there that knows him for a few years. He can be the point person and is able to explain to everyone else what Alex needs. On Alex’s team we have more new people to Arrow McLarenfrom different racing disciplines such as NASCAR.
When you look at some of the more senior roles we have some of the most experienced people in the pit-lane. It’s an interesting mix on that crew, you have Craig Hampson, who has years of experience in IndyCar, you’ve got Brian Barnhart. who has a wealth of experience in the series.