Full Indy 500 entry list as Ilott announced in fourth McLaren

Callum Ilott will race for Arrow McLaren in this year's Indianapolis 500, marking his third start in the race.

His entry completes a 34-car field in the IndyCar Central race, one of which will be bumped from the field in qualifying.

With David Malukas ruled out of the team without starting a single race after suffering an injury in pre-season, McLaren moved quickly to secure Ilott, who raced in place of Malukas in the St Petersburg and Thermal Club races without points.

McLaren has confirmed that Formula 2 champion Theo Bourchier will complete the remainder of the IndyCar season in the former Malukas' Ilott, which will race in the Indy 500.

“It's any driver's dream to race in the Indianapolis 500, and I want to thank Zach [Brown]Gavin [Ward] And Tony [Kanaan] “I helped make it happen,” said Ilott, who drove the No. 6 car in open-wheel Indy 500 testing last month.

“I am grateful to enter this race with a familiar car and a familiar team now at Arrow McLaren.

“Although our April open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was shortened due to weather, our runs were productive. I feel great with the team and know we can come together throughout the month of May to give our best on race day.

McLaren Team Principal Gavin Ward added: “Callum brings experience with this team and the Indy 500 which we believe will be of great value as we enter the biggest two weeks of our season.

“He and the team have done well through the first two events of the season and we are looking forward to achieving that here.

“I am confident that Callum and the No. 6 team will compete near the front of the grid during qualifying and on race day, just like the rest of our cars.”

After the Indy 500, Ilott will return to the World Endurance Championship in the Jota-powered Porsche Hypercar, having taken his first overall win last weekend at Spa alongside former Formula 1 driver Will Stevens.

How has Ilott fared in the Indy 500 before?

It's safe to say Ilott has a love/hate relationship with the event.

In his first year in 2022, he impressed by qualifying 19th for Juncos Hollinger Racing's first Indy 500 since 2019 (when its driver Kyle Kaiser collided with McLaren's Fernando Alonso off the grid for the race in qualifying).

However, the Ilott got stuck in the dirty air and crashed during the race.

Its event in 2023 was even more dramatic.

After driving the car in open testing, Ilott felt there was a significant handling issue, although that didn't show up in the data.

Ilobet struggled to convince the team of his concerns, but on the Friday before qualifying, Juncos switched to the spare car and immediately set his fastest laps in May. With only 14 laps of driving, he qualified comfortably in 27th place.

He wasn't finished, and with reasonable motivation, and learning from what had happened the previous year, Ilott methodically moved up the order and finished 12th, Juncos' best position out of seven Indy 500 starts.

Does he have a chance to win?

Elliott's biggest asset is his team, but it may also be his biggest weakness.

This is because McLaren fought for the win last year and believed it had two of the best cars in the race. If that is the case again, Ilott will have to beat out previous winner Alexander Rossi, Indy 500 ducks-to-water driver Pato O'Ward, and a driver who is regularly talked about as one of the best drivers in North America: NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Larson. .

Felix Rosenqvist drove the No. 6 car last year and still believes he had the best car before he crashed. O'Ward also crashed while trying to pass eventual runner-up Marcus Ericsson.

If Ilott continues his sensible approach from 2023, he will have every chance of achieving victory.

Why is ilot even available?

If it had been clear that Ilott would be available for the 2024 season midway through last year, he would now have had a full-time seat in IndyCar. But the seeds of discontent between Juncos and Ilott were sewn at the Indy 500 when Ilott wanted the backup car and JHR was reluctant to oblige him.

Ilott also received some hate messages on social media after two incidents with teammate Augustin Canapino. Those messages weren't Cannabino's fault but the abuse was hard to take.

The team and Ilott have mutually decided to part ways, according to his announcement, with Juncos choosing Romain Grosjean while Ilott gets a plum-coloured sports car seat.

While this is IndyCar's loss, if Ilott continues to perform as he did with Jota, he will have a very long and well-paid sports car career, and will not need to return to IndyCar.

While Bourchier's full-time job gives him the exclusive opportunity to impress McLaren for the rest of the year, Ilott will still be in contention for that seat and other drivers in IndyCar.

What he did during his two years in the series with the minor league team, including scoring a first-class playoff berth in 2022 and two top-five finishes in 2023, will not be quickly forgotten.

Complete Indy 500 entry list

AG Foyt Racing: Santino Ferrucci, Sting Ray Rob
Andretti Global: Marco Andretti, Marcus Ericsson, Colton Herta, Kyle Kirkwood
Arrow McLaren: Callum Ilott, Kyle Larsson, Pato Oward, Alexander Rossi
Chip Ganassi Racing: Marcus Armstrong, Scott Dixon, Linus Lundqvist, Alex Ballou, Kevin Simpson
Dale Quinn Race: Katherine Legg, Nolan Siegel
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: Connor Daly, Ryan Hunter-Reay
Ed Carpenter Racing: Ed Carpenter, Christian Rasmussen, Rinus Fekkai
Juncos Hollinger race: Augustin Canapino, Romain Grosjean
Meyer Shank Racing: Tom Blomkvist, Helio Castroneves, Felix Rosenqvist
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: Christian Lundgaard, Pietro Fittipaldi, Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato
Team PenskeScott McLaughlin, Joseph Newgarden, Willpower


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