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Andretti rules out adding part-time IndyCar entry for Pourchaire

Arrow McLaren outcast won’t find a home at Michael Andretti’s scaled-back team

Theo Pourchaire, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Andretti Global’s COO Rob Edwards says there are no thoughts of expanding the current three-car effort to keep Theo Pourchaire on the IndyCar grid.

Pourchaire, reigning Formula 2 champion, was dropped by Arrow McLaren nearly two weeks ago after the team signed Nolan Siegel to a multi-year contract that began with at the last IndyCar round at Laguna Seca.

It was a stunning turn of events after the 20-year-old Frenchman was signed to drive for Arrow McLaren – who reached a loan deal with Sauber, with whom he is a Formula 1 reserve driver – for the remainder of 2024 (with the exception of the Indianapolis 500) in May.

That followed him making two starts in replacement of the injured and since dropped David Malukas. Pourchaire showed promise over the next three races, which included a career-best 10th place on the streets of Detroit.

Despite only running five of the eight of the points-paying races, Pourchaire sits 24th in the championship standings and only 38 points behind leading Rookie of the Year candidate Linus Lundqvist in 18th.

Sauber F1 team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi confirmed to Autosport last week a desire to keep Pourchaire in IndyCar, and it is actively looking for an alternative ride for the final nine races of this season, as well as finding Pourchaire an IndyCar drive for 2025.

“We are focused for him to have a strong 2025 programme with one of the best IndyCar teams,” Alunni Bravi said. “This is a very demanding championship, [with] different track layouts, track characteristics, a lot of very experienced and professional drivers with specific knowledge of the category.

Theo Pourchaire, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Theo Pourchaire, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

“So, it's a good environment for a driver to grow. Now we can't lose any other opportunities for him to race, because for any driver just the role of reserve driver is not enough to keep them in a good racing shape.”

That led to intrigue in the IndyCar paddock, especially since Andretti Global has prospects of going racing in Formula 1, that it might work out a loan deal with Sauber and add Pourchaire as a fourth entry for select rounds for the remainder of the season.

Although Andretti’s Edwards offered praise for Pourchaire’s transition to IndyCar, there are no thoughts of expanding the current three-car operation, having downsized from four cars over the winter.

“No,” Edwards told Autosport. “He’s certainly a driver that we rate highly, but we’re very set on the three-car programme.

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“We think it’s bearing fruit and working in the direction that we want to work and there isn’t a reason for us to dilute that at the moment.”

While sympathetic toward Pourchaire’s situation, Edwards believes enough was shown that he’ll get another chance to land somewhere on the grid.

“I think he did a very good job in the races that he did,” Edwards said. “I’m sure if he’s patient, and he perseveres, another opportunity will come his way.”

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