McLaughlin thrilled after stunning IndyCar performance

DJR Team Penske’s two-time and reigning Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin was delighted with his performance in IndyCar Spring Training which saw him end the day third fastest.

The 26-year-old New Zealander, who will drive a fourth Penske-Chevrolet entry in May’s GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis completed 61 laps of the Circuit of The Americas course over the course of the 6hr10min session, the fastest of which was his 58th.

That sprung him up to third fastest so that he ended the day half a second slower than pacesetter Will Power but ahead of his other two teammates Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud.

He told IndyCar’s test livestream reporter Katie Hargitt: “It’s fast, there’s so much grip, it’s hard on your body. I’ve been training really hard for this to get ready for it.

“I’m really happy with the car so far. I felt really comfortable. My seating position and all that stuff is pretty good. That’s ideal because I’m not going have many times in the car before the Indy GP.

“Team Penske are making me feel really welcome. It’s been awesome.”

McLaughlin went on: “I did some sim work with the team and that’s been really helpful to get used to the track, knowing some traits of the car. But once you get into it, it’s so different.”

Asked what the biggest surprise had been, he admitted: “Just the overall grip. The speed I can carry through the Esses Turns 4, 5, 6 and 7. It’s all about learning to use the aero[dynamics]. That’s something I haven’t done before. I’ve never driven a formula car before. The only open-wheel car was a Formula Ford.

“I’m really happy, having so much fun and living the dream.”

McLaughlin said his champion teammates Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud had been aiding his cause in acclimating to the car.

“They’ve been really cool at helping me out with anything I’ve asked,” he said. “About pit stops, how I should sit in a car, or how I should attack a corner. They have been right there for me. That’s what Team Penske is all about.

“I’m really privileged to be in this position and I’ve got to make the most of it. Grab it with both hands and having a good crack.”


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