The No.86 will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year when Juan Pablo Montoya adopts the number that Peter Revson carried to pole position in 1971 for his Arrow McLaren SP entry.
Fifty years ago, Revson had spent much of the Month of May struggling to keep up with Penske’s Mark Donohue, who was driving the only privateer McLaren in the field.
Donohue had set an unofficial 180mph lap during practice, but when his four-lap qualifying run yielded a 177.0887mph average, Revson – who’d had one morning to adapt to the new turbocharged Offenhauser after blowing an engine on the eve of Pole Day – sensed an opportunity.
Opening with a starting lap of 178.05 mph, Revson and McLaren set their sights not just on the pole, but on the track record itself. With a fast lap of 179.354 and a four-lap average of 178.696, the No. 86 McLaren M18 captured the top spot in qualifying and shattered the existing track record by over seven mph.
“I’m delighted we are able to honor Peter Revson’s historic pole at Indianapolis in 1971 by having Juan Pablo Montoya run the No. 86 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet at this year’s Indianapolis 500,” said McLaren’s Zk Brown. “This entry represents the combination of three strong relationships: McLaren and Indianapolis; Juan Pablo and Indianapolis; and McLaren and Juan Pablo, so the number just clicked for all of us. Most of all it will be fantastic for the fans, our partners and our team to see him line up with Pato (O’Ward) and Felix (Rosenqvist) for this global sports spectacle.”
Montoya’s first victory came at his first attempt in 2000, making him the first rookie to win the 500-mile race since 1966. His career then took him to Formula 1 and NASCAR before he made his return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2014, finishing fifth, and then claiming his second victory at the Speedway a year later.
“I’ve really missed this race so I can’t wait to compete in my first Indianapolis 500 since 2017,” said Montoya, who spent the past few seasons racing in IMSA. “It is extra-special to carry the No. 86 on my Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, honoring the incredible drive by Peter Revson for the pole for McLaren in 1971. This team is a great mixture of rich history and exciting promise, so it will be a thrill to join them as I compete for my third Indianapolis 500 victory.”
Team co-owner Sam Schmidt said: “The No. 86 is the perfect number for Juan Pablo to run at this year’s Indianapolis 500, given its history,” said It’s a beautiful car and will really complement the other two Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolets driven by Pato and Felix. I want to thank Arrow Electronics and Mission Foods for supporting the No. 86 entry, so the team can field three great drivers and cars with a chance to win the race.”