NTT Data Joins Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar Team; Tony Kanaan Joins Team For Indy 500 In 2023

NTT Data, one of the world’s leading technological and business-to-business companies, is switching teams in the NTT IndyCar Series for 2023.

NTT Data is leaving Chip Ganassi Racing and will join Arrow McLaren SP as the sponsor of driver Felix Rosenqvist on the No. 6 Chevrolet. The sponsor and driver are reunited as both were together at Chip Ganassi Racing on the No. 10 Honda in 2019 and 2020. The past two seasons, NTT Data sponsored the No. 10 Honda driven by Alex Palou.

Also, 2013 Indianapolis 500 winning driver and 2004 NTT IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan will drive a fourth entry in the 107th Indianapolis 500 for Arrow McLaren SP. He will also be sponsored by NTT Data. It will be Kanaan’s 22nd Indianapolis 500 and the first time Arrow McLaren SP has entered four cars in the Memorial Day Weekend speed classic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This move effectively closes the door on any possibility for two-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch to driver in the Indianapolis 500 for 2023.

Brown, however, said last month that he wanted an “experienced IndyCar driver” in the fourth entry to help work with the team’s other three drivers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“We want to make sure if we run a fourth car, we are in the mindset that we have someone who is experienced in the Indianapolis 500,” Brown told me last month. “It’s such an important race.

“Going for the championship point of view, we have three drivers that we want to have finish as well as possible. If we have a fourth car, we want it to be additive to the three cars. Bringing in someone who has not done it before potentially doesn’t add that value from an experienced point of view.

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“He (Kyle Busch) is under consideration but has lack of experience. He has an awesome talent, and would be huge, huge news for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Everyone is under consideration if we decide to do it, but experience is at the top of the list when we decide what is going to be most important to us.”

That is why the team chose Kanaan because of his vast amount of experience.

The multi-year partnership between NTT Data and Arrow McLaren SP was announced Tuesday, November 1 at 9 a.m. Eastern Time.

NTT Data is a $30 billion trusted global innovator of IT and business services. It helps clients transform through business and technology consulting, industry and digital solutions, applications development and management, managed edge-to-cloud infrastructure services, BPO, systems integration and global data centers. 

The company is committed to its clients’ long-term success and combine global reach with local client service in over 80 countries.

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with McLaren, a long-term and valued client, and to demonstrate how sponsorships simultaneously build awareness and enhance business-to-business relationships,” said Bob Pryor, CEO of NTT Data Services. “NTT Data is also proud of the NTT IndyCar Series’ growth with a strong international stable of drivers, great leadership from Penske Entertainment, and a passionate fan base attracted to the highly competitive product – where any driver can win in any weekend.”

It is the latest big move by McLaren CEO Zak Brown, who has dramatically changed the dynamic in IndyCar since he purchased the existing IndyCar Series team from previous owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson at the end of the 2019 season.

McLaren was originally a partner, but is now the majority owner of Arrow McLaren SP.

“NTT Data joining our great group of partners is a huge boost for Arrow McLaren SP,” Brown said. “I’m thrilled they will be representing our No. 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.”

In the 106th Indianapolis 500 on May 29, Kanaan drove the No. 1 American Legion Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing and was in contention all the way to the checkered flag for the victory. He finished third behind second-place O’Ward and his then CGR teammate and Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson.

“I feel extremely lucky to get another shot racing in the Indy 500,” Kanaan said. “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.”

As for Rosenqvist, he is reunited with the company that sponsored his first two season in the NTT IndyCar Series in 2019 and 2020.

“I look forward to representing NTT Data once again,” Rosenqvist said. “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 No. 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.”

NTT Data will be the Lead Partner on Rosenqvist’s No. 6 Chevrolet for 10 races in the 2023 season, highlighted by the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, NTT Data’s home race at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indy 500, Music City Grand Prix on the Streets of Nashville and the season finale at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The NTT Data brand will be represented on Rosenqvist’s fire suit and team kit throughout the 2023 season.

The global technology and business solutions provider will also serve as the Official IT Services Partner for the team’s operations and have associate branding on the cars of Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi.

This will be the first year the Arrow McLaren SP team is led by Racing Director Gavin Ward. He replaced Taylor Kiel last month.

NTT Data’s parent company NTT has been the title sponsor of the NTT IndyCar Series since 2019 and is committed to delivering innovation and advancing technology through its partnerships.

Rossi is the newcomer to the team in 2023. He won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016 and will race in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. O’Ward, who drives the No. 5 car, finished second in the 2022 Indy 500 followed by Kanaan in third and Rosenqvist in fourth.

McLaren Racing was founded by New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren in 1963. The team entered its first Formula 1 race in 1966 and since then McLaren has won 20 Formula 1 World Championships, more than 180 Formula 1 Grands Prix, the Indianapolis 500 three times, and the Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt.

The team competes in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, the NTT IndyCar Series with Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, and the Extreme E Championship with Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust.

McLaren will compete in Season Nine of the FIA Formula E World Championship in 2022/23.

McLaren was the first F1 team to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard in 2010 and has retained it since on a bi-annual basis, most recently in February 2021. The team was also the first in F1 to be given the FIA Sustainability Accreditation Award at a three-star level in 2013 as part of the FIA Environmental Certification framework, before becoming a signatory to the UN Sports for Climate Action Commitment in 2021.

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