McLaughlin wants more

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 09/07/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

The next stop on the V8 Supercars calendar is one of the two circuits Scott McLaughlin tasted victory in his debut season of V8 Supercars.

But with the Coates Hire Ipswich 400 not underway until August 1, the 21-year old is first heading to the United States and NASCAR, before suiting up in his Volvo V8 Supercar.

McLaughlin is yet back up his first Championship race win in the S60, nine runs ago in Perth, but is confident of a bounce back at the 3.12km Queensland circuit.

"We were fast last year at Ipswich -we won -so we're expecting ourselves to go for a win there," he told v8supercars.com.au.

After qualifying fourth for all three races at the weekend's Castrol Townsville 500 -Driven by TAFE Queensland, McLaughlin looked as if he would factor in the fight over the weekend.

During Sunday's 250km, 88-lap race, he was one of just sixth cars that did not pit under the lap one Pedders Chrysler Safety Car, remaining out with second-placed qualifier and eventual winner Jamie Whincup.

McLaughlin took his first pit stop on lap 30, Whincup on 32, and McLaughlin climbed back up to third before stopping again on lap 51. Whincup came in 10 laps later -but a number of cars already split the two and the Volvo went on to finish ninth, behind old Dunlop Series foe Scott Pye.

"I don't even know," McLaughlin said when asked about his strategy compared to Whincup's.

"Honestly, he drove away from me...(It was a) lack of pace, probably more so. I just didn't have the outright speed.

"Fuel mileage wise, I think we had to put longer fuel in.

"We're learning and all that sort of stuff, so it's good to do the miles and not have one thing go wrong. That's a positive, and we were in the top 10, so it's good."

McLaughlin said the 'tune-ability' was the key factor for the team, particularly in the longer races, as fixing one issue with the S60 tended to add to or create another.

"If we've got too much push, we try and fix that with the bars, but it chews the rears up -we don't have one good thing, and then we tune one thing, we're struggling.

"So at the moment we just need to try and get that tune-ability in the race and we'll be fine.

"In the shorter races we'll be fine because you can just set it and go but it's just when the fuel loads change the grip levels go and it all [affects other things]."

One thing he was pleased about was qualifying fourth for the three races on the challenging street circuit, with qualifying consistency an area he had hoped to improve this season.

Recording his first ARMOR ALL Pole Position in a V8 Supercar -including his time in the Dunlop Series -earlier this year at Winton, McLaughlin has nailed the fastest lap four times, and has the best qualifying average in the field, 4.4, ahead of Jamie Whincup with 5.5 and Craig Lowndes with 6.2.

After the Darwin event McLaughlin spoke of qualifying being an issue there, but felt better about his Townsville performance.

"We got three fourths this weekend, which is awesome. A bit weird to start from the same position every race but at the end of the day it was good just to be consistent. And I'm aiming to do that -everyone wants to be as good as they can in qualifying, but we've been really good this year and hopefully we can keep it up."

An incident with Will Davison, and drive through penalty for speeding in pit lane hindered McLaughlin's progress in Saturday's two races.

McLaughlin has maintained seventh in the Championship, behind Craig Lowndes after the Red Bull racer dropped from second to sixth.

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