Arrow McLaren selects Pourchaire as replacement driver for the injured Malukas

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Arrow McLaren named reigning F2 champion Theo Pourchaire as the permanent replacement driver for the injured David Malukas on Thursday.

Pourchaire takes over the No. 6 Chevrolet for Saturday's Indianapolis Grand Prix and will compete in all remaining IndyCar Series races with the exception of this month's Indianapolis 500. A scheduling conflict for Indy's qualifying weekend, May 18-19, will prevent him from driving in the series' biggest race.

Callum Ilott, who replaced Malukas in this season’s first two IndyCar races and completed April’s open test on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval, is expected to run in the 500. Ilott, who is English, started each of the last two 500s, finishing 32nd as a rookie and 12th last season.

Pourchaire made his IndyCar debut at Long Beach and finished 11th before returning to the cockpit at Barber Motorsports Park. He also did a test session Monday on IndyCar's oval track near St. Louis.

“I’m excited to take on this challenge with Arrow McLaren for the rest of the season," Pourchaire said in a statement. “This is a special opportunity, and I am committed to learning and improving as we get on track each race weekend. I’ve enjoyed my first two races with the team, and I know we have plenty of potential in front of us.”

The 20-year-old French driver won one race and two poles while posting 10 podium finishes last season on the European-based F2 circuit. He also won series titles in 2018 and 2019.

Pourchaire replaces Malukas, who was dropped by the team April 29. He did not start a race this season after suffering a dislocated his wrist and torn tendons in an offseason mountain bike crash.

But Arrow will now focus on getting Pourchaire up to speed on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. Practice and qualifying are scheduled for Friday. The race is scheduled to be run Saturday.

“We’re excited to continue working with Theo. He proved to be a quick learner, and we believe his skillset and learning mindset will support his development as he gets more comfortable racing in the NTT IndyCar Series," team principal Gavin Ward said. "Now, it’s about continuing to grow and turning those learnings into results alongside the No. 6 team.”


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