Supercars champ Scott McLaughlin to make IndyCar debut for Penske
Defending Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin will try racing in another series for Team Penske this May.
McLaughlin, 26, will test a Dallara-Chevrolet next week at Circuit of the Americas in Austin before making his NTT IndyCar Series debut in the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The May 9 race (which will be broadcast on NBC) will start at 3:50 p.m. ET on the IMS road course, which is the primary type of circuit in the Supercars series. McLaughlin also tested a Penske open-wheel car for the first time last month during an IndyCar rookie evaluation test at Sebring International Raceway.
“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 a release. “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 will join Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power in Penske’s lineup for the GP. Helio Castroneves will be fielded by the team in the Indianapolis 500 with Newgarden, Pagenaud and Power.
McLaughlin will attempt to win a third consecutive Supercars championship in the Australian-based series this year for DJR Team Penske. The New Zealand native has 35 victories and 44 pole positions over the last three seasons and also earned his first win in the legendary Bathurst 1000 race in October with co-driver Alex Premat.
McLaughlin set a series record last year with 18 victories.
“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,” Roger Penske said in a statement. “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.”
Since the IndyCar debut of the 2.4-mile layout in 2014, Team Penske has won five of the six races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with drivers Will Power (2015, ’17, ’18) and Simon Pagenaud ('16 and ’19). Power and Pagenaud swept wins on the road course and in the Indianapolis 500 the past two years.
In addition to IndyCar, McLaughlin also has indicated a desire to try racing in NASCAR for Team Penske. He discussed his comfort with stock cars during a 2017 episode of the NASCAR on NBC Podcast (click on the link below to hear it).