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IndyCar Detroit

IndyCar teams condemn Pourchaire death threats for Canapino Detroit clash

IndyCar squads Juncos Hollinger Racing and Arrow McLaren have condemned abusive messages and death threats sent to Theo Pourchaire after the Detroit Grand Prix.

Theo Pourchaire, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

The Formula 2 champion's McLaren entry made contact with JHR driver Augustin Canapino at the Turn 3 hairpin following a restart, one of several incidents triggered by drivers struggling to bring their tyres up to temperature in a race blighted by caution periods, that also featured a rain shower.

Both drivers continued to the finish, with rookie Pourchaire placing tenth on his return to the series after sitting out the Indianapolis 500 and Canapino taking the flag in 12th.

Following the race, Pourchaire was sent abusive messages which prompted JHR and Arrow McLaren to make a joint statement posted on the latter team's website.

"The past 24 hours have unfortunately provided our teams with a stark reminder about the necessity for respect and civility in our online interactions," it said.

"Social media allows us to engage with our fans around the world, but it is important that we interact with each other in a respectful and safe environment.

"We will not tolerate any form of abuse or discrimination, and those participating in such actions are not welcome in our online community and will be blocked.

Theo Pourchaire, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Introductions

Theo Pourchaire, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Introductions

Photo by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

"The NTT INDYCAR SERIES delivers dynamic action on the racetrack and incredible access for fans, but we must remember that behind the wheel, the pit wall or the monitor, we are all human beings.

"It is vital that we collectively maintain a safe and welcoming community for all involved."

JHR followed up with its own statement, in which it confirmed: "We are working with those affected to identify the individuals responsible, and any violators of this policy will be blocked from the Juncos Hollinger Racing community."

 

Pourchaire, who switched to IndyCar to replace the injured David Malukas, posted a message to his own social media account calling on fans to consider their actions.

"I’m sad I received so much hate and death threats in the last 24 hours for such a small incident in the Detroit GP," the Frenchman wrote.

"I hope people can understand that we are all humans and we can make mistakes. But it’s not normal to abuse people online.

"Please be kind to each other."

 

Following this, Canapino took to social media in a post defending his fanbase that rejected accusations death threats had been sent to Pourchaire.

Agustin Canapino, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet

Agustin Canapino, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

"I have not seen a single death threat directed at those who claim to have received them," he wrote.

"From last year to today, no one in their right mind would do such a thing. It's outrageous to be accused of this so lightly, and I won't allow it anymore.

"If anyone did this, THEY ARE NOT PART OF US, and we don't deserve to be consider [sic] this way because of some misfit WE STRONGLY REJECT."

 

He added: "The majority of our fans are respectful and kind people, whom I deeply support and thank for their continuous support, through good times and bad.

"I constantly receive abuse and hate, and I have learned to live with it as many people do, choosing to ignore it.

"There's nothing sadder and more miserable than hiding behind social media to insult others."

The row follows IndyCar releasing its own statement in 2023 calling out "disrespectful and inappropriate online abuse" following the Long Beach event, when Canapino's then team-mate Callum Ilott revealed he had been subjected to death threats from Argentinian fans.

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