McLaren expects its first track testing as an IndyCar team will not take pace until a month prior to next year’s Indianapolis 500.
It was confirmed in November that McLaren will enter the Indy 500 as its own team, running Fernando Alonso as he tries to complete the Triple Crown. The project is being led by Bob Fernley, and with the cars having been ordered, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has outlined the timeframe for the team getting out on track.
“The cars will be here in January, and then we go to the build process,” Brown said. “I would anticipate we do have a testing program that we’re working on. There are a variety of testing restrictions, so we’re not free to do as we want.
“I think we will be on the track for the first time in early April, and that’s when our testing will commence. Then of course we’ll do the maximum allowed within the current regulations as far as the amount of testing both at Indianapolis and away from Indianapolis.”
Part of the timing relates to the car build taking place at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, while the team also has to continue recruiting for the IndyCar project in the New Year. Still, Brown says good progress is being made on all fronts.
“Bob Fernley is our president, who has a good history at Indianapolis. We have hired our engineer, our chief mechanic. I would say we’re about half way through our staffing of the team, we have our trucks and trailers ready, so we are on course, we’re excited.
“They are experienced IndyCar people, and it will be a separate team. Bob Fernley is doing an excellent job. I myself will be in Indianapolis at the end of January. Stay tuned — there’s more to come both on personnel announcements and we do have some sponsors and since we’ve announced there have been active discussions. We expect to have a great-looking IndyCar at the Indy 500.”