Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin has outlined the huge differences between his former career in Australia and his current one in America with the IndyCars series.
The Kiwi left Supercars a three-time champion before heading to IndyCar with Team Penske, who part-owned the Dick Johnson Racing team he drove for in the championship.
McLaughlin is in pre-season training for the upcoming IndyCar season, which starts with the Grand Prix of Alabama on April 18th, and revealed the main challenges with adapting from a closed-wheel race car, to an open wheeler – including the near 100kmph increase in speeds.
“It’s completely 180, it’s so different,” McLaughlin told Fox Sports News.
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“You’ve got to really muscle the car here in America. There’s no power steering, in Supercars there’s power steering. I have to lie down in the car, I’m basically lying down in a bed. In Supercars we drive like in a road car so I’ve really had to build up strength in areas I haven’t had before, especially around my shoulders.
“I’m building up my neck strength because the G-Force is over five Gs – that’s five or six times my body weight. It’s pretty full on. In Supercars it’s more focused on heat and trying to adapt to that – here it’s a little bit different.
“It’s so bloody fast. You’re doing close to 400kmph on an oval – it’s phenomenal. The closest we got to 300kmph was at Bathurst and that was a thrill in itself.
“Learning how the slipstream works and the runs you get on other cars – it’s full on. There are things that I won’t learn until I get out and race. And that’s probably the hardest thing.
“Doing the laps by yourself, that’s the easy part. It’s going out and racing wheel to wheel, when in a Supercar I could bang doors, but in an open wheeler if you bang then wheels fly off and all sorts happens.”