Scott McLaughlin has labelled his IndyCar test as a “dream come true” after the Supercars champion completed running in a Team Penske car in the United States on Monday.
McLaughlin was confirmed to drive a Team Penske IndyCar prior to Christmas, with the Kiwi to travel to Sebring International Speedway to complete running as a part of a rookie evaluation test.
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Present at the test on Monday were Penske IndyCar stars Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden, who share four IndyCar drivers’ titles and two Indianapolis 500 wins.
Also on site was the legendary Rick Mears, who was also photographed giving McLaughlin tips during the day’s running.
Midway through the day, McLaughlin explained in a Twitter video posted to Team Penske’s social accounts about the immediate differences he had noticed in the IndyCar versus his Shell V-Power Racing Ford Mustang.
“[The] IndyCar is just unbelievable,” said the 26-year-old.
“Just huge G-forces, big braking, big aero grip and balance.
“I haven’t stalled coming out of the pits yet, so I’m happy … but I’ll probably stall now after lunch.”
“I’m really enjoying my time. I’ve got the suit on, the whole deal. It’s feeling good, it’s a dream come true.”
McLaughlin has been a force in Supercars since he moved to DJR Team Penske in 2017.
In three seasons with the Ford squad, the New Zealander claimed two drivers’ titles and 35 race wins, including a maiden Bathurst 1000 title in 2019.
McLaughlin is under contract with the Supercars squad for 2020, but his ambition to race overseas is no secret.
After the breakthrough Bathurst win, team owner Roger Penske suggested McLaughlin has what it takes to make it big Stateside.
“We want him to come over [to the United States] … he’s got a good future. You will see him in America I am sure in the near future,” Penske said in October.
“He’s a guy who knows how to win, knows how to race fast and has great commercial savvy to us in today’s world as we deal with our partners.”