IndyCar: Arrow McLaren terminates business agreement with Juncos Hollinger Racing over fan abuse on social media

Arrow McLaren announced Thursday that it had terminated a commercial agreement with Juncos Hollinger Racing over fan threats made towards McLaren driver Theo Pourchaire.

Pourchaire made contact with Juncos Hollinger’s Agustin Canapino during the IndyCar Series Detroit Grand Prix on Sunday. After the incident, Pourchaire, a former F1 reserve driver, said he had received death threats from Canapino fans.

Canapino, a 24-year-old Argentinian, issued a statement on Monday saying he was “against abuse and hate” and that “those who engage in such behavior are certainly not part of our community and are not welcome here.”

However, he said that he had never seen a death threat directed toward a competitor.

“I have not seen a single death threat directed at those who claim to have received them,” Canapino said. “From last year to today, no one in their right mind would do such a thing. It’s outrageous to be accused of this so lightly, and I won’t allow it anymore. If anyone did this, they are not part of us, and we don’t deserve to be consider[ed] this way because of some misfit we strongly reject.”

The agreement was made before the season so that McLaren could provide extra space for its sponsor inventory on Juncos Hollinger cars. Both teams use Chevrolet engines.

“This decision follows actions that occurred earlier this week on social media in regards to an on-track incident at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix,” McLaren said in its statement. “As reflected in the team’s social media community code, Arrow McLaren will not tolerate any form of abuse or discrimination and totally condemns the online abuse directed toward our team and driver.”

This week’s incident isn’t the first one that has prompted online abuse from Canapino fans. Former Juncos Hollinger Racing driver Callum Ilott received hateful messages from Canapino fans in 2023 after the drivers made contact in two different races.

Ilott left Juncos Hollinger at the end of the 2023 season and was replaced by Romain Grosjean. He raced in the Indianapolis 500 for Arrow McLaren in the No. 6 car — the same car Pourchaire drove at Detroit.

Canapino is in his second season in the IndyCar Series and finished 21st in 2023. He’s currently 20th in the standings and finished 12th in Detroit.