McLaughlin impresses at IndyCar test (Update)
UPDATE "I'm really happy with how it's gone. I'm happy with how we are going. I'm having a good crack at it," McLaughlin told Fox Sports
|McLaughlin appears to have a bright future in IndyCar taking the seat Penske had offered to Alexander Rossi|
"I have to thank my team in Australia to help me get to this point. And I can't thank the team over here enough. It's been a dream come true. This is America's biggest open wheel series.
"I've always just wanted to be in America. I'm proud to be here. But I'm also looking forward to getting home and racing my Ford Mustang.
"Overall, I'm pretty proud to look at the board and be third. But obviously everyone else probably has a little more in their tank."
He then explained the huge differences he has had to overcome in adjusting to the IndyCar.
"There is so much grip in these cars. It is hard on your neck … I've been training really hard for this," he told media after the session.
"The speed I can carry through the corners … it's insane.
"I'm getting used to being able to use the aero. You feel every bump. The G-forces are huge. Your neck gets a hammering.
"There is no power steering. In the V8 cars, we are quite lucky with that. You really have to force the car. We are going 250 through the corners, so it is full on.
"I'm a race car driver and I like going fast, so this is a lot faster ... I have a new sense of speed."
He also has plenty or respect for the car's braking ability.
"It's got a lot of power, a lot of braking. The first time I hit the brakes at Sebring my head nearly hit the steering wheel, I swear. It's unbelievable and I'm just really privileged to drive this car," he said.
"Roger (Penske) and Team Penske have given me a go. I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as I can with a smile on my face.
"Mum and Dad, my wife's watching at home … I think half of Australia is, Australia and New Zealand. Hi to everyone at home."
Pumped on adrenalin, McLaughlin, talked up the new environment.
"I'd like to explore (the IndyCar Series) more and I'd like to explore more in America. I'd love to get to America one day. That's my ultimate goal.
"Whether it's here or whether it's anywhere, I just want to try to be here one day. I love the country. I love the people. I love the sport that it is, and we'll see what happens."
|McLaughlin an impressive 3rd quick|
02/12/20 Two-time defending Virgin Australia Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin was among the NTT INDYCAR Series newcomers for the COTA test. McLaughlin drove Team Penske's No. 2 Chevrolet, running 62 laps and recording the third-fastest time among the 27 drivers on the day.
"It's an altogether new feeling," McLaughlin said. "I'm a race driver. I like going fast, so this is a lot faster. I'm having fun. A lot of grip and it's tough to drive.
"You turn that pit speed (limiter) off and there's a lot of power and a lot of braking. I'm just really privileged to drive this car. Roger (Penske) and Team Penske have given me a go. I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as I can with a smile on my face."
McLaughlin also is enjoying the benefit of working with the accomplished Team Penske trio of two-time and defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Josef Newgarden, 2019 Indy 500 champion and former series champion Simon Pagenaud, and former series champ and Indy 500 winner Will Power.
"I'm really lucky to have them and privileged," McLaughlin said. "But I also have Roger and TC, Tim Cindric, and my engineer Jonathan Diuguid, who has been fantastic with me. I'm just trying to soak it all up like a sponge and at the same time, I'm living the dream. I'm having a great time."
McLaughlin is scheduled to make his series debut with Team Penske on Saturday, May 9 in the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. He already is yearning for more after two days in Austin.
"I'd like to explore (the NTT INDYCAR SERIES) more," he said. "And I'd like to explore more in America. I'd love to get to America one day. That's my ultimate goal. Whether it's here or whether it's anywhere, I just want to try to be here one day. I love the country. I love the people. I love the sport that it is, and we'll see what happens."