Supercars champ to test himself in IndyCar series
DEFENDING Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin will take another big step towards a racing career in the United States when he makes his IndyCar series debut in May.
Team Penske announced overnight the two-time Supercars champion will take part in his first IndyCar race in the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 9.
McLaughlin will take part in testing in Texas at the Circuit of the Americas next week before returning home for the start of the Supercars season in Adelaide on Feb. 20 as he targets a third Supercars title.
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SO excited to be racing at the Indianapolis GP in May. My first race in an Indycar. I know I have so much to learn and to take in, starting next week in Texas at the open test! But honoured to be driving the #2 Indycar for Roger and Team Penske. Thank you all for the opportunity! pic.twitter.com/2EG0gxJ2OG— Scott McLaughlin (@smclaughlin93) February 5, 2020
The Bathurst champion said he was thrilled to get the chance to race an IndyCar this year, while he remained focused on his Supercars title defence.
"This is an amazing opportunity - to race against some of the best open wheel drivers in the world on one of the most historic tracks in motorsports," McLaughlin said in the Team Penske statement.
"I'm excited about the challenge of trying to win a third consecutive Supercars championship while helping to keep the Shell V-Power Racing Team at the front of the field this season. I'm also really looking forward to this new opportunity.
"It's a driver's dream to get a chance to race an Indy car for Team Penske. With the experience I gained at the test in Sebring, I know a little bit more about what to expect when I get back into the car at COTA.
"I just want to learn as much as I can every time I'm in the car so I can make the most of the opportunity to race with the team at the Grand Prix in Indianapolis."
McLaughlin got his first taste of driving an open wheel car in the United States when he took part in a rookie evaluation test at Sebring International Raceway in Florida last month.
The New Zealand ace will steer the No. 2 Dallara/Chevrolet at next week's test and the GMR Grand Prix in Indianapolis.
Team Penske owner Roger Penske said McLaughlin deserved his IndyCar opportunity and expected his racing talent to translate to the open wheel series.
"Scott has experienced tremendous success in Supercars over the last three seasons with DJR Team Penske and we believe his talent and his drive will continue to shine behind the wheel of an Indy car," Penske said.
"It will be interesting to see how he continues to develop as we work up to his first race at the Indianapolis Grand Prix. We know Scott will work hard to improve with every lap and he will represent Team Penske well as he gets acclimated to the IndyCar Series."