Two-time defending Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin has been confirmed to make his IndyCar Series debut this year.
McLaughlin’s desire to race in the States has been clear for some time now, with his international connections through DJR Team Penske bearing fruits in the form of a positive rookie evaluation test at Sebring International Raceway in Florida last month.
It seems he did enough there to convince the Team Penske hierarchy he’s ready for more.
The powerhouse team announced overnight the 26-year-old will compete for them in the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 9 – an event Penskes have won on five of six occasions.
He will also take part in next week’s IndyCar Series pre-season test at Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
The COTA complex is not unfamiliar to McLaughlin, having raced there in 2013 when Supercars made a one-off visit to the US.
Important to clarify in all of this is McLaughlin will still race for DJRTP in 2020, with the mission of winning a third consecutive Supercars championship.
But his excitement around the chance to drive the No. 2 Dallara/Chevrolet at both the test and GMR Grand Prix is clear to see.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Team Penske supremo Roger Penske added: “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.
“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.”
McLaughlin will open his Supercars title defence on February 20-23 at the Superloop Adelaide 500.