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Arrow McLaren ends IndyCar partnership with Juncos Hollinger Racing

Arrow McLaren has ended its IndyCar partnership with Juncos Hollinger Racing after one of McLaren’s drivers said he had received death threats.

Théo Pourchaire said he received online threats after making contact with Juncos Hollinger driver Agustín Canapino during the Detroit Grand Prix last Sunday. Earlier this week, Canapino disputed the notion that any of his fans had made death threats to Pourchaire.

McLaren announced Thursday it “has terminated its commercial alliance with Juncos Hollinger Racing, effective immediately.”

The partnership announced last October was a technical and marketing alliance designed to help the two teams lean on each other as McLaren aided underdog Juncos in its growth.

Juncos confirmed its end Thursday.

“As of today, our strategic partnership with Arrow McLaren has come to a conclusion,” Juncos Hollinger said. “We appreciate the time spent with McLaren over past months. They are a world class organization which we enjoy competing against week in and week out.

“While the results of the partnership did not mature, we have the utmost respect for them and are confident in the future of Juncos Hollinger Racing.”

The ordeal began with Pourchaire and Canapino making contact during a race that featured eight cautions. Although the collision didn’t knock either driver out of the race — Pourchaire finished 10th and Canapino 12th — Pourchaire said he received online threats over it.

“I’m sad I received so much hate and death threats in the last 24 hours for such a small incident in the Detroit GP,” Pourchaire, a 20-year-old Frenchman, wrote on X. “I hope people can understand that we are all humans and we can make mistakes. But it’s not normal to abuse people online. Please be kind to each other.”

That same day, Arrow McLaren and Juncos Hollinger issued a joint statement saying they “will not tolerate any form of abuse or discrimination. Those participating in such actions are not welcome in our online community.”

Canapino, 34, issued his own statement saying “of course, I am against abuse and hate,” but he also disputed any notion that his own fans had made death threats toward Pourchaire.

“We Argentines are passionate and euphoric, but that doesn’t mean we should be accused of something we are not,” Canapino said. “Therefore, I strongly reject being generalized and placed in a category we don’t deserve.

“I have not seen a single death threat directed at those who claim to have received them. 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.”

Canapino added that “the majority of our fans are respectful and kind people.”

“I constantly receive abuse and hate, and I have learned to live with it as many people do, choosing to ignore it,” Canapino said. “There’s nothing sadder and more miserable than hiding behind social media to insult others.”

Callum Ilott has reported that he received abuse from Canapino fans last year when the two drivers were Juncos Hollinger Racing teammates. Juncos Hollinger and Ilott parted ways at the end of last season.

This week, Canapino had liked an X post that referred to Pourchaire as “Callum Pourchaire.”

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing