McLaughlin is one of several Supercars drivers who still regularly drives a kart, keeping sharp with practice days and the occasional club-level race.
Although Easter will mark his return to national championship-level karting, McLaughlin insists there’s no pressure to perform.
He’ll be racing a Tony Kart, fielded under the banner of local importer Surpreme Kart Supplies, in an 18-driver field.
“I’m primarily there to enjoy a great weekend of karting at a track I know and love with a great bunch of people,” he said.
“Part of my role as patron of KartSport New Zealand, also, is to inspire the next generation of kids coming up through the ranks, and I truly can’t think of a better way to do that than by racing a kart myself.
“As to how I go, I won’t really know until I see who else is there, but put it this way, I’m a competitive person and I haven’t entered just to make up the numbers.”
McLaughlin with his first karting trophy. pic via instagram
KartSport New Zealand president Graeme Moore says McLaughlin’s presence will add great excitement for the youngsters at the event.
“Scott is their hero, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
“Until he arrived on the scene if you asked one of our Juniors what they wanted to do in life most would have said, ‘be a Formula 1 driver.’
“Now if you asked them, they’ll say ‘drive a V8 Supercar’ and a lot of that would be down to Scott.
“He’s such a good role model, fast and fair on the track and always ready to engage with the fans, particularly our young karters, who aspire one day to step into his shoes.”