NTT INDYCAR SERIES veterans Gavin Ward and Brian Barnhart will assume top management jobs with Arrow McLaren SP starting in the 2023 season, team officials announced Oct. 4.
Ward will take on the role of racing director after joining the team in July 2022 as director of trackside engineering. Barnhart is a new addition to AMSP as general manager.
AMSP will field three cars in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2023, for returning team veterans Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist and team newcomer Alexander Rossi, winner of the 100th Indianapolis 500 in 2016.
“This leadership team has decades of racing success, with each bringing their own expertise to the group, which will be a differentiator for the team as we grow to a three-car lineup in 2023 and continue to build on our heritage in the sport,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said. “Gavin has made a solid impact in the few short months he’s been with the team, and we welcome Brian and the years of INDYCAR experience he brings to the team.”
Toronto native Ward will lead the technical performance team of Max Neyron (director of operations), Nick Snyder (director of performance) and Billy Vincent (director of competition).
The car communicator for O’Ward and the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet is still being finalized, while Vincent will stay in his role on the radio with Rosenqvist for the No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. Barnhart will be the car communicator for Rossi and the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, a role he fulfilled with Rossi and Andretti Autosport in the 2022 season.
Ward came to AMSP after a four-year stint at Team Penske, where he served as Josef Newgarden’s engineer. Ward worked for nine years in Formula One with Red Bull Racing before joining Team Penske in 2018.
“I’m honored to step into this role and work alongside the other leaders to continue elevating Arrow McLaren SP and our competitiveness on the track,” Ward said. “Max, Nick, Billy and I have worked really well together this past season, so we already have established an impressive baseline that will lead to a smooth start for 2023. I’m really excited to see what the team will do and welcome Brian to the team, as well.”
Barnhart (pictured, left) brings decades of experience throughout the sport to AMSP. He started as a pit crew member and a chief mechanic for teams in the 1980s and 1990s, including Al Unser Jr.’s winning Galles Racing entry in the 1992 Indianapolis 500.
Indianapolis native Barnhart then moved to the administrative side of the sport in the mid-1990s, serving in a variety of management roles at INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway through 2017, including working as INDYCAR vice president of competition and INDYCAR SERIES race director.
He returned to the team side in 2017, becoming the president of Harding Racing before joining Andretti Autosport in 2020 when Harding Steinbrenner Racing merged with the Andretti team.
“I’m excited to join McLaren Racing as general manager for Arrow McLaren SP,” Barnhart said. “The team has made incredible strides in challenging the top teams for the championship over the past two seasons. AMSP is full of talent, from their drivers to the mechanics and every position in between, and I’m honored to join them.”