McLaughlin to make IndyCar debut at Indy GP

by Jordan Groves

Scott McLaughlin will make his NTT IndyCar Series debut with Team Penske at this year’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The two-time Virgin Australia Supercars Champion will drive the #2 Chevrolet on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix circuit in May, with Josef Newgarden switching to the #1 Chevrolet after winning last year’s title.

McLaughlin, a DJR Team Penske driver in Australia, drove a Penske IndyCar for the first time last month in an evaluation test at Sebring International Raceway; a test that was hailed as a success by all involved.

The test was the first time that McLaughlin has driven an open wheel racing car, yet he took to the car like a duck to water. Now, McLaughlin has been given a chance to compete with some of thebest in the business. Scott will be back behind the wheel of the #2 Chevrolet at the IndyCar open test at the Circuit of the Americas later this month before heading to Indianapolis at the beginning of May.

“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,” said McLaughlin today.

“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.”

Despite McLaughlin’s lack of experience in an open wheel racing car, Roger Penske believes that his years racing in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, coupled with his raw talent, will serve him well when he gets behind the wheel of an IndyCar.

“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 IndyCar,” 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.”

McLaughlin will undoubtedly be seeking tips and advice from his massively experienced team-mates. Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves will all be racing at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis alongside McLaughlin, with five of the last six races on the Indianapolis road course having been won by Penske drivers.

The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series will kick-off with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 15.

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