What future in IndyCar for Théo Pourchaire?

Now without a wheel in IndyCar following the arrival of Nolan Siegel at Arrow McLaren, Théo Pourchaire finds himself at a crossroads. The French pilot would like to continue in the United States, but the opportunities are not necessarily numerous.

Published on 19/06/2024 à 13:03

Michael Duforest

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What future in IndyCar for Théo Pourchaire?

© Penske Entertainment: Chris Owens

Champion of Formula 2 last year, Theo Pourchaire had failed to find a place in the elite of motorsport, the Formula 1. Covered for several years by Sauber, the native of Grasse had headed towards Japan, and the Super Formula. An adventure which only lasted a short race at Suzuka, before a twist of fate for David Malukas, injured in the wrist, opened the doors of theIndyCar, with Arrow McLaren. Théo Pourchaire thus had a new home, having been confirmed in early May by McLaren as a full-time driver for the car hit number 6 this season, from Long Beach to the Nashville finale, without participating in the Indy 500.

This reality was shattered this Tuesday evening, when the papaya-colored team announced the recruitment of Nolan Siegel, to replace Théo Pourchaire, already replacing David Malukas! A very curious game of musical chairs, during which only the Frenchman remains standing for the moment, since Malukas will make his return to IndyCar this weekend, replacing Tom Blomqvist in the No. 66 Dallara-Honda of Meyer Shank Racing .

What destination for Pourchaire?

So what about Théo Pourchaire? Contacted by Racer.com, the 20-year-old driver did not wish to comment on a situation which clearly took him by surprise, but he wishes to continue his career across the Atlantic. The brutality of Arrow McLaren's announcement can be traced back to a simple tweet, posted on Monday, the day before the announcement. In it, he said: “I can’t believe I’m going to drive on the legendary Laguna Seca circuit this weekend! I can't wait to compete in the Monterey Grand Prix! » The reality will therefore have been quite different. According to several sources, the chances of seeing the Frenchman again this season are not zero. In fact, at least three teams contacted Pourchaire as soon as the loss of his seat was announced.

If the situation risks returning to the status quo in the coming months, some seats could become available, depending on the decisions of certain drivers. After Josef Newgarden's contract extension with Team Penske, Christian Lundgaard became a premium free agent. The Dane, also a former Formula 2 driver, has made a strong impression since his arrival in IndyCar, and could be tempted to leave Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, possibly to go to McLaren, thus opening the door to the recruitment of Pourchaire. Same situation with Rinus VeeKay, at the end of his contract with Ed Carpenter Racing, and who might wish to flourish in a larger structure in the future. Chip Ganassi Racing could also be a base for Pourchaire, Ganassi having not hesitated several times to take bets on young guns, as with Linus Lundqvist this year in number 8.

A return (already) to McLaren?

A hypothesis may seem far-fetched but cannot be completely ruled out either. Alexander Red has not yet re-signed with McLaren. The negotiations with the American are dragging on a bit, and if Brown cannot agree with either Rossi or Lundgaard, he has in Théo Pourchaire a driver whose abilities, technical feedback and quality of work he knows. After all, much stranger things have already happened this year among IndyCar drivers! Smaller structures, like Dale Coyne Racing, seem to be more difficult to reach for Pourchaire, who does not have the same level of budget as others.

Finally, the Prema team will make its IndyCar debut in 2025, with two cars. If the initial desire was always to bring together a veteran of the championship and a young wolf from European promotion formulas, the availability of Pourchaire could push René Rosin's teams to offer him a contract for next season. One thing is certain, the Frenchman risks being in demand, after rather successful first races in the category.

ALSO READ > Nolan Siegel replaces Théo Pourchaire at McLaren!

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1 Comment (s)

Yves-Henri RANDIER

19/06/2024 at 04:47 a.m.

A return to McLaren in case Rossi doesn't re-sign... funny customs in IndyCar but after all, everything is possible on the other side of the Atlantic because business first!

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