Team Penske will look to expand Scott McLaughlin’s American racing adventure beyond May’s Indianapolis Grand Prix. As RACER reported in February, the New Zealander is being prepared for a greater presence in the NTT IndyCar Series, with as many as eight races said to be circled on the calendar for DJR Team Penske’s back-to-back Australian Supercars champion.
According to team president Tim Cindric, McLaughlin’s recent pace in testing at IndyCar’s open test held at Circuit of The Americas, and days later during his rookie oval test at Texas Motor Speedway, is a precursor of more to come from the 26-year-old star.
“Throughout the year hopefully we’ll be able to give him some opportunities and hopefully be able to run him in more than just one [IndyCar] race,” Cindric told SpeedCafe.com. “We’ll see where it is. With that process, he doesn’t have to leave Supercars to understand whether it’s something he wants to do and for us to understand how we can make that happen.”
McLaughlin is tipped to join Penske’s IndyCar team full-time in 2021. Cindric says it’s premature to make any statements with a full season of Supercars competition ahead.
“Our process has been to give him a taste of what it’s all about,” he said. “We sat down and talked about it after we won Bathurst and we said his goal is for us to figure out how to win a championship and Bathurst. After he’s done that, he’s got aspirations to race in America. We’ve never been too keen to rush that process.”
McLaughlin opened his title defense with a second and a win for DJR Team Penske at Adelaide and holds the championship lead heading into the next event supporting Formula 1 in two weeks in Melbourne.