Scott McLaughlin enjoyed a dominant 2019.
Scott McLaughlin enjoyed a dominant 2019.

McLaughlin hopes IndyCar ‘dream’ is just the start

SUPERCARS champion Scott McLaughlin says he has ticked off a "massive bucket list" item, but hopes there's more to come after his IndyCar test in the United States.

The Bathurst 1000 champion was invited to test for Team Penske at Sebring International Raceway in Florida following a record-breaking year in Supercars.

McLaughlin, who has been in the United States for his wedding and honeymoon, completed 141 laps in the rookie evaluation test early Tuesday morning.

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Scott McLaughlin during his IndyCar test in the US.
Scott McLaughlin during his IndyCar test in the US.

The DJR Team Penske ace has been open about his desire to race in the United States and said the opportunity to jump behind the wheel of an IndyCar had been a dream come true.

"The car is a beast. It's everything I dreamt of," McLaughlin said.

"It's a dream come true. It's been a big day, 141 laps, the neck is pretty sore. We held on and did a long run at the end, and I got a feel for everything. Qualifying runs, race runs, long runs, fuel loads and pit exits so it was really cool.

"It's an overwhelming sense of achievement. I'm very proud to have been chosen to do something like this, to have the trust from the team to bring a whole crew and a truck all the way down to Florida to give me a go.

McLaughlin with the Team Penske crew.
McLaughlin with the Team Penske crew.

"It's a massive bucket list, and hopefully there is more later on."

McLaughlin dominated in the Ford Mustang's return to Supercars in 2019, claiming a record 18 race wins, including a controversial maiden Bathurst crown, en route to his second Supercars title.

The 26-year-old has re-signed with DJR Team Penske for 2020, but said he would "race a wheelbarrow if I need to" if he got a call up from his Ford team owner, American US motorsport giant Roger Penske to race in the US.

McLaughlin said coming to grips with the aerodynamics of the IndyCar had been the biggest adjustment from his Ford Supercar.

"Trusting the aerodynamics. Trusting the grip underneath me was probably the biggest thing I learned," McLaughlin said.

Driving an IndyCar was a dream come true for McLaughlin.
Driving an IndyCar was a dream come true for McLaughlin.

"It's very hard to come out of the habits I've gained driving Supercars over the last 10 years. To jump into this, where there's hundreds of pounds of downforce is really cool and so exciting.

"Hopefully I'll get another opportunity, who knows. But I'm really proud, and it's a big tick on my bucket list for sure."

McLaughlin was watched on during his test by Team Penske drivers including Australian Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden and said he had learned plenty from the experience.

The Supercars champion hopes his US adventure is just starting.
The Supercars champion hopes his US adventure is just starting.

"I can't believe it that they were all here, including the legend Rick Mears," McLaughlin said.

"Just to bounce ideas off all of them. Simon was a big help at the end, in regards to telling me how to give my feedback as I wanted to go in a certain direction.

"We went that way towards the end, and it felt so good. I owe a lot to those guys for coming, they could easily have stayed at home, but it shows how good Team Penske is not only here, but in Australia as well."

McLaughlin will open his Supercars title defence at the Adelaide 500 on February 20.

News Corp Australia


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