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.”