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Tony Kanaan joins Arrow McLaren as IndyCar special advisor

IndyCar champion and Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan has officially joined Arrow McLaren in a special advisor role.

Tony Kanaan, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Kanaan, who has claimed the 2004 IndyCar title and has 17 IndyCar Series wins to his name since joining America’s premier open-wheel class in 1998, hung up his helmet after racing a fourth car for McLaren in this year’s 107th running of the Indy 500.

His new role is to provide guidance and strategy for on-track and off-track advancement, and the 48-year-old Brazilian will travel with the team to races and tests, serving as a driver mentor while also working with the team’s commercial partnerships and business development.

“I had said that I wasn’t going to leave racing or the NTT IndyCar Series, so I’m very excited to join the Arrow McLaren team in this role,” said Kanaan. “Zak [Brown, McLaren CEO] and Gavin [Ward, Arrow McLaren’s racing director] have a great vision for where this team is headed and what we can accomplish, so I look forward to helping us get there and making the team and the series even better.

“This team works hard and has a lot of fun. That’s what racing is about, and it’s why I love being part of the team.”

Tony Kanaan, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet and Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Tony Kanaan, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet and Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

As well as his role with the burgeoning IndyCar team, which added a third full-time car for Alexander Rossi this year and is expected to recruit Alex Palou to its 2024 driver line-up, Kanaan will also be involved in McLaren Racing’s heritage programme.

“Tony’s distinct skillset will help the team connect how we go racing to how we can make the most of our partnerships,” said Ward. “As a championship driver, he does both incredibly well – delivering on track and locking in committed partnerships.

“He brings a champion mindset to what we’re doing – and that’s racing to win championships while having fun doing it. Having him on the team as a multifaceted resource in his advisor role is a big win for Arrow McLaren.”

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Across his 25 years in the series, Kanaan has also driven for Tasman Motorsports, Forsythe Racing, Mo Nunn, Andretti Green/Autosport, KV Racing, Chip Ganassi and AJ Foyt.

Brown said: “I’m thrilled to have Tony join Arrow McLaren and our McLaren Racing family in a more formalised capacity following his brilliant IndyCar career. He’s a racer, and he knows how to win.

“Having him around our team and mentoring our drivers can only make us stronger contenders in the NTT IndyCar Series.”

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