Juan Pablo Montoya will pay tribute to Peter Revson No. 86 McLaren for Indy 500

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Juan Pablo Montoya will pay tribute to Peter Revson in the 105th running of the Indy 500 in the No. 86 McLaren.

In March, Arrow McLaren SP announced Montoya’s bid for the iconic race would be sponsored by Mission Foods. This week, they revealed the livery, which will be orange and white – similar to the scheme used by Revson when he won the pole for the 1971 Indy 500.

Before qualification, Roger Penske’s pilot Mark Donohue was the driver to beat. Donohue had already unofficially topped the 180 mile per hour barrier in practice and backed it up with an impressive time when the money was on the line.

Revson’s weekend was not going smoothly, however. He blew an engine the day before Pole Day, setting off a flurry of activity to prepare a new Offenhauser powerplant. Meanwhile, Donohue was showing signs of vulnerability. He had already completed a four-lap qualifying run with an average speed of 177.089 mph, more than three miles per hour off his top speed from earlier in the month.

Revson smelled blood in the water and told his team, “If this thing runs, I’ll burst their bubble!”

And that is what he did. Revson set a four-lap average of 178.696 mph to set a new track record and snatch the pole from second-place Donohue. Bobby Unser qualified third to round out the first row.

When asked what made the difference in his pole-winning run, Revson replied: “The McLaren is a great car; I’m not kidding myself on that.”

Revson finished second in the 1971 Indy 500 behind Al Unser in his No. 86 McLaren / Offenhauser.

Fast forward 50 years, and the iconic orange and white No. 86 McLaren will be wheeled by two-time Indy 500 winner Montoya.

Montoya shocked the racing world when he won his first Indy 500 in his first attempt. Driving for Chip Ganassi in 2000, he started the race second on the grid. He left Indy to race Formula 1 in 2001 and won at Monza in his first year with Williams before switching to McLaren in 2005. Montoya won in his first season with that team as well.

Three of Montoya’s seven F1 wins came with McLaren.

Montoya won his second Indy 500 in 2015, but he has not yet won a pole.

“I’ve really missed this race so I can’t wait to compete in my first Indianapolis 500 since 2017,” Montoya said in a release. “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.”

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.