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Pourchaire “tired mentally” after “amazing” IndyCar oval test debut

Theo Pouchaire received his ovals initiation with a test on Monday at the track formerly known as Gateway near St. Louis, Missouri.

Theo Pourchaire, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

The 20-year-old Frenchman was aided by team-mate Alexander Rossi, who helped shake down the No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner and the team’s sporting director, was also on-site to help provide mentorship.

Pourchaire, who had only made his series debut last month with an 11th-place effort on the Streets of Long Beach, California, took to the 1.25-mile oval and managed to complete 110 laps on the day.

“It’s been a great day and really happy that I was able to get back behind the wheel of the Arrow McLaren Indy car; to have this opportunity again was great," said the reigning Formula 2 champion.

“The first time for me on an oval, which was really exciting. I couldn’t wait to feel the driving on an oval. I can say it now, it’s really, really quick. Really impressive.

“You have to be really smooth on the steering wheel, steering inputs, going back on power and you have to be really smooth in the car. It feels amazing.”

 

Commenting on the fatigue of lapping on an oval, he added: “I’m really tired mentally as well because it’s going super quick and you don’t want to make a mistake on a track like this.

“If you make a small mistake, you can end up in the wall and we all know if you end up in the wall on an oval is really dangerous, but I enjoyed it."

According to a team representative, Pourchaire has been given "the green light from the series to compete on ovals in the future".

Outside of his run at Long Beach, Pourchaire also raced for the team in the most recent round at Barber Motorsports Park, where he was running 18th on the penultimate lap before being punted out of the way by team-mate Pato O’Ward.

As of now, Pourchaire has not been confirmed for more races with the team. Arrow McLaren has yet to announce its driver(s) of the No. 6 entry for the rest of the season following last week’s release David Malukas.

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