McLaughlin benefitting from new approach
Scott McLaughlin believes a conscious effort not to overdrive the car this year is contributing to his recent successes.
The Shell V-Power Racing driver has opened up an 158 point lead in the championship standings after winning the last four consecutive races at Phillip Island and Barbagallo Raceway.
Currently enjoying a stellar run of form, the New Zealander says he is benefitting from a new approach this year after admitting to overdriving at times during last season.
“I think I’m just trying to do the best job I can and not overdoing it,” McLaughlin told Speedcafe.com.
“Last year I overdid it a lot trying to drive too hard with something that I didn’t have.
“For us at Adelaide we potentially could have had two podium finishes there if it wasn’t for the tyre delamination.
“I felt like we did the best we could and there was no point being upset with the tyre delamination because that was just pure bad luck.
“At Tasmania we didn’t have the fastest car and Craig (Lowndes) had the fastest car but we managed to claw a second (position finish in Race 8) out of that and unfortunately had the little issue on Saturday; again, that would have been a top five.
“So I think I’m just going into it driving the car as fast as I can and if that’s fifth, if that’s 10th, if that’s winning, taking that and trying to make the best out of it in any given situation.”
McLaughlin is also feeding off the team spirit being created at the Queensland operation having built a ‘special bond’ with his crew.
“I’ve got a great bond with my guys and girls at the team, and I genuinely enjoy going in there,” he added.
“I felt like I had the same sort of thing at GRM and other teams that I’ve been to, but this is sort of on a different level.
“Obviously winning helps and when you have a few good results obviously it’s a great feeling for everyone but I think I’ve built a really special bond with these guys for the amount of highs and lows that we’ve been through.
“I think we’ve got really close due to it.”
The 24-year-old heads to Winton this weekend off the back of a stunning run from 19th to victory in Race 12 at the Perth SuperSprint.
Labelled his best ever race, McLaughlin has re-watched the drive while taking time to enjoy the impressive feat with his team.
“It’s back to business but absolutely it’s one of those deals where we had to try and enjoy it in some ways because we pulled off something that was pretty special, the guys and the car speed we had,” he said.
“It was a special moment for the whole team, and for me I was just proud that no one gave up, and I said it to the guys in the little meeting we had during the week.
“It’s just nice that even when we qualified 19th, most of the car team said ‘We can still win it’, and that’s the best thing you can have in a team, so much positive attitude.
“I have (watched Race 12 on television), for sure. It’s just interesting, I love the strategy point of view.
“I think that is why I love NASCAR and all that sort of stuff too.
“Just seeing the different fuel loads that went in and why people made decisions to double-stack when they did, and why we did it and what happens… so I enjoyed it quite a bit.”
McLaughlin will kick off his Winton SuperSprint weekend when Practice 1 begins on Friday at midday AEST.