As a McLaren IndyCar driver, Pato O'Ward's job comes with a few perks. Not only does the team give him cars quick enough for 20 podiums in the past four seasons and a handful of runs in a modern F1 car, O'Ward has also been able to try his hand in a number of vintage Formula 1 cars over the past two years. Last year, he got his shot in a Senna-run MP4/5B at Laguna Seca. This year, he returned to the now-annual Velocity Invitational to run a few laps in a 1969 McLaren MC7.
At the twisting and hilly Sonoma Raceway, a video shared by Road & Track contributor Marshall Pruett shows that the vintage McLaren is a handful. The late-60s racer is much simpler than the mid-80s car O'Ward ran last year, with far more body roll and far less downforce available to the driver. The result is a car that seems to rotate a little too freely for its own good, leaving O'Ward to catch a few slide.
In just his second entry into the track's uphill turn 2, he even finds himself countersteering away from the right-handed corner's apex on his way in. Fortunately for McLaren, O'Ward has a well-earned reputation for quick reactions and quicker hands. Just as he so often does in an IndyCar, O'Ward simply kept the car in line and carried on through the corner.
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