Scott McLaughlin is facing a challenging beginning to his IndyCar career, but he is loving every minute of the busy and varied schedule that has been presented to him.
Switching disciplines and moving over to America after winning three consecutive Australian Supercars championships, the talented 27-year-old knew exactly what he was signing up for.
Now as the start of the 2021 season draws near, McLaughlin is finding out first-hand how varied the modern IndyCar schedule can be.
Just last week, he was testing his skills at 220mph around Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a preseason test. The next three weekends will see him visit a dedicated road course, a street circuit, and a high-banked oval to open the season.
But instead of being daunted by the challenge, he’s relishing all the opportunities to get behind the wheel of his new Chevrolet-powered office.
“Any time I get laps in these cars, it’s better,” explained a motivated McLaughlin. “It’s wild, but that’s exactly why I came to America.
“I came here to race nearly every weekend on all different disciplines I haven’t done before.
“But thankfully for the start of the season when it’s crazy, all these tracks I’ve been to before. I know what I need and we’ve got a solid plan in place and we can hit the ground running at each track.
“This week [at Barber] is probably the one track that I need to work hard at. St. Pete I feel I know that track, I know our balance there. That’s going to be ok. Then Texas, it’s an oval and I just gotta work my way around it.
“I feel like I’ve got great team-mates to lean on, and I’ve got a great engineer who’s got a huge amount of experience.
“I’m leaning on everyone and soaking everything up like a sponge. This is business time now and I really need to get into it.
“It’s exciting! I came to America to race most weekends, and this is a dream for me really.”
Even though McLaughlin was at the top of his game in the Australian Supercars series, he had actually been eyeing up a chance to come race in IndyCar for quite some time.
His partnership with Penske helped to make that dream a reality, and now the experienced Kiwi will get a chance to put his skills to the test in America’s premiere open wheel series.
McLaughlin makes his full-time IndyCar debut racing for Team Penske this upcoming weekend at Barber Motorsports Park for the opening round of the 2021 season.