Kanaan to drive fourth Arrow McLaren SP Indy 500 entry

The squad’s extra entry for the Indy 500 will be driven by the Brazilian veteran, who will make his 22nd start in the Memorial Day Weekend classic.

Despite running a part-time schedule since 2020, Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 winner, proved he still has what it takes by finishing third in last season’s 500, qualifying sixth and finishing third for Chip Ganassi Racing and splitting the AMSP cars of Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist.

Kanaan said: “I feel extremely lucky to get another shot racing in the Indy 500. I’m excited to work with Pato, Felix and Alexander and race with the Arrow McLaren SP team.

“My biggest battle in last year’s race was against these three drivers, so working with them and driving with them will be exciting for all of us.”

The team also announced that NTT Data will be primary sponsor of Rosenqvist’s car in 2023, as well as backing Kanaan’s entry.

While AMSP missed out on signing Alex Palou when Ganassi proved its 2021 champion had contravened the terms of his contract by negotiating with a rival squad, McLaren has been able to snatch NTT Data, one of Ganassi’s primary IndyCar sponsors since 2014.

© Autosport.com Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: IndyCar

It will reunite Rosenqvist with the Japanese sponsor, since the Swedish ace drove Ganassi’s NTT Data #10 car for the first two years of his IndyCar career before being replaced by Palou for the ’21 season.

AMSP’s contract to back its #6 car is described as multi-year, and thus the #6 will be run in full NTT livery for 10 of the 17 rounds in 2023, while Rosenqvist’s teammates Pato O’Ward (#5) and Alexander Rossi (#7) will carry associate branding.

Kanaan drove an NTT Data-backed Ganassi car from 2015 through ’17. NTT Data was also his primary sponsor when driving the #48 CGR-Honda in 2021, before Jimmie Johnson elected to run the full schedule.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said: “NTT Data joining our great group of partners is a huge boost for Arrow McLaren SP. I’m thrilled they will be representing our #6 car as a lead partner and a major sponsor for our fourth entry in the Indy 500, piloted by Tony Kanaan.

“Tony proved last year he can compete with the best of them, and I’m excited to see him put on a show with our team next May.”

Rosenqvist added: “I look forward to representing NTT Data once again. They’re a great partner and are committed to the series. I welcome them to the McLaren Racing family and am ready to start the season off in St. Petersburg, racing the #6 NTT DATA Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet.

“It will also be great to race alongside Tony and learn from him as we prepare for the Indy 500.”

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