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McLaughlin to take what was to be Rossi's seat at Team Penske?
Rossi sad after getting beaten by Team Penske in last year's Indy 500
Alexander Rossi had the chance to drive a 4th car for the greatest team in the history of IndyCar starting in 2020 - a team with the most wins, most championships and most importantly, the most Indy 500 wins (18). He turned down their offer and now will have to get used to getting beat by them.
As a result, Team Penske will likely add a 4th car for Supercars star Scott Mclaughlin, part-time to start, then who knows from there.
Team Penske president Tim Cindric has confirmed to Motorsport.com that Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin’s test at Sebring yesterday was more than just a novelty one-off and that the team is investigating the possibilities of the 26-year-old making his IndyCar race debut this season.
McLaughlin, who has won the last two Supercars titles for DJR Team Penske and clinched victory in last season’s Bathurst 1000, tested one of Penske’s Dallara-Chevrolet IndyCars on Sebring’s 1.7-mile short course yesterday. The New Zealander accomplished himself extremely well, finishing the day with a best lap time just one second slower than Ed Carpenter Racing’s new signing Rinus VeeKay, the Indy Lights champion.
Will Scott McLaughlin become the next great IndyCar driver from Down Under?
Now Cindric has confirmed to Motorsport.com that Penske is hoping to add McLaughlin to its driver roster for Spring Training at Circuit of The Americas on Feb. 11-12, with a longer-term view of putting him in a fourth race entry alongside Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud at some point this season.
“We haven’t finalized whether we’re going to be able to run Scott at COTA or not, so we’re still working on that,” Cindric told Motorsport.com.
“IndyCar won’t let just anyone show up to an open test without a commitment to running somewhere else. So that depends on if we can put something together in time for that test or whether there’ll be something else, another opportunity.
“We’re still trying to figure that out, but the first step was to go to Sebring. We’ve checked Scott’s schedule to see if the COTA open test is a possibility or not, and yes it is from that standpoint, but from the final decision standpoint, we still need to figure out that part of it. It comes with the caveat of knowing that we’re going to enter him in a race at some point.”
And if he runs well? There is a distinct possibility that 4th seat will become a full-time ride for McLaughlin.
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