McLaughlin IndyCar debut plans in limbo

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McLaughlin IndyCar debut plans in limbo


McLaughlin IndyCar debut plans in limbo


Reigning Australian Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin was being prepared for up to eight NTT IndyCar Series races prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. The New Zealander’s first race for Team Penske was meant to take place on May 9 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and with numerous gaps in the IndyCar and Supercars calendars, a packed season of international flights were planned.

Based on the latest schedules from both series, the wide-open weekends have largely disappeared, leaving the Kiwi with half as many opportunities to make his IndyCar debut alongside Penske’s Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, and Will Power.

Of the options to consider, the ovals at Texas and Indianapolis are free, and a blend of road and street courses with Portland and St. Petersburg stand as the most likely venues for the 26-year-old to climb into the fourth Team Penske Chevy.

The good news for McLaughlin amid the ever-changing plans is found with Penske’s continued interest in bringing the Supercars star to America to test his mettle against IndyCar’s best. The bad news is he will need to wait a while longer before the team is ready to confirm when and where his debut will take place.

“Nothing is scheduled yet for Scott, but there’s opportunities for it to happen,” a Penske spokesperson told RACER. “Right now, there’s a lot of questions on the timing, and most of it involves international travel restrictions. Once we get a better handle on the travel side, the options will become clear.”