By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
New Zealander superstar Scott McLaughlin will make his much anticipated NTT IndyCar Series debut at the GMR Grand Prix in Indianapolis May 9, driving for Team Penske.
The two-time defending Virgin Australia Supercars champion successfully participated in last month’s rookie evaluation test at Sebring International Raceway, resulting into this landmark opportunity for the 26-year-old.
“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,” said McLaughlin. “I’m excited about the challenge of trying to win a third-consecutive Supercars championship while helping to keep the Shell V-Power Racing Team at the front of the field this season. I’m also really looking forward to this new opportunity.”
“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.”
To prepare for his race at the Indianapolis road circuit, McLaughlin will also take part of INDYCAR Spring Training at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas next week, driving the No. 2 Chevrolet which will be his car number for the race at Indy.
Roger Penske, who also co-owns McLaughlin’s iconic No. 17 Shell V-Power Ford Mustang in Supercars, said it’ll be quite a development seeing him compete in INDYCAR and confident McLaughlin will put in the work.
“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,” said Roger Penske. “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.”
Going into his eighth full-season in Supercars, McLaughlin has become an all-time great in the sport. Especially since driving for the Dick Johnson/Penske squad where in just the last three years alone, McLaughlin has won 35 times and started in pole position 44 times. Last season was perhaps his greatest yet, finally winning the Bathurst 1000 (with co-driver Alex Premat) and scored a series record 18 wins.
When it comes to Penske and the GMR Grand Prix, it’s been an excellent combination. Five of the six previous editions has been won by a Penske entry with Will Power winning three (2015, 2017-18) and defending race winner Simon Pagenaud scoring two (2016 and 2019).
The drop of the green flag commences at 3:50 pm EST May 9 with live coverage taking place on NBC, INDYCAR Radio and Sirius XM.