Rising Supercars star Scott McLaughlin has announced he will move to DJR Team Penske for 2017.
After months of speculation, the 23-year old Kiwi has confirmed the move as he contests his fourth season with Garry Rogers Motorsport.
McLaughlin has earned eight race wins since debuting full-time in 2013 and is widely regarded one of the most talented up-and-comers in the Supercars category.
He became the year’s first double race-winner in his Volvo S60 at Phillip Island back in April and sits third in the Championship points, after his best finish of fifth overall in 2014.
His move sees him join fellow New Zealander Fabian Coulthard to lead a two-car DJR Team Penske program, after the team expanded to run two cars for this season.
McLaughlin will race the #17 DJR Team Penske Ford next season.
“This is a great opportunity for me to join one of the most accomplished Supercar teams in history and, hopefully, we can continue to grow together,” said McLaughlin.
“I want to thank two absolute motorsport legends in Dick Johnson and Roger Penske for believing in me. I’m really excited about the future with the organisation.”
Motorsport icon and team owner Roger Penske said the group has had its eye on McLaughlin, who has been billed to the key to the Supercars ‘silly season’.
“We have watched Scott closely over the last few seasons and have admired his talent and his ability to get the best results out of his car week in and week out,” said Penske.
“As we continue to raise the level of performance at DJR Team Penske we believe he will be a key addition to our Team on and off the track.”
Team founder Dick Johnson echoed those sentiments.
“There’s no question that Scott McLaughlin is one of the top drivers in the series and we’re excited to bring him aboard at DJR Team Penske,” Johnson said.
“With the combination of McLaughlin and Coulthard we look forward to chasing race wins next season in what really is the most competitive touring cars series in the world.”
While a number of big names are off-contract this year, McLaughlin has been the driver most in-demand given his talent behind the wheel, his charismatic personality and longevity given he is in his early 20s. His shift opens up a seat at GRM alongside James Moffat.