During media interviews Thursday and Friday Team Penske IndyCar drivers Josef Newgarden and Will Power both said there were benefits in having Scott McLaughlin join Team Penske’s expanded four-car IndyCar Series outfit.
“It’s just more information and more quality people on the IndyCar side,” Power explained.
“Obviously the sports car program went away and we took a lot of good people from that program.
“So yeah, just more engineering power and more information as far as drivers, set-up info, and all that sort of stuff.”
The expansion of the IndyCar Series program came at the expense of its two-car IMSA SportsCar Championship team.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Newgarden.
“It’s good timing for us. We operate well as a three-car team. When I initially came to Team Penske, it was a four-car operation.
“I’ve seen both sides of it. I think at this time and place, I think a four-car team will give us more strengths than weaknesses at the moment.
“I think having an extra car, extra hands, extra set of data, extra engineer full-time, it’s all going to benefit what we’re doing. We’re already seeing that. We’re already seeing the benefit of it.
“Scott is a really smart, accomplished driver. He’s really good at what he does. He’s still learning IndyCar. He’s not fully up to speed, I would say, but he’s not going to struggle. He drives his car to a very high level.
“His engineer, Jonathan Diuguid, is a strong addition to our operation. I think it’s going to be a big benefit to us, to have a four-car operation. I’m excited from that standpoint.”
“I was really happy he came over because it gives a lot of attention to IndyCar from Australia,” said Power.
“I think the TV ratings will be better because he was so popular there and won three championships in a row.
“I think it just brings more attention to IndyCar, which now that we don’t race down there doesn’t get much love.
“Scott is a good guy. He’s from New Zealand but basically Australia, so we certainly get along well. I think he’ll be a pretty quick guy.”