Scott McLaughlin has enjoyed a productive and less politically charged build-up to this weekend’s Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint.
A parity debate has raged for the past month which further intensified after Supercars prescribed aero changes to the Ford Mustang ahead of the Pirtek Perth SuperNight last time out.
Since the trip to Western Australia, talk from rival teams surrounding the Mustang and its perceived advantage has died down.
Having enjoyed a break in the US in between races, he heads to Winton refreshed and ready to pick up where he left off at Barbagallo Wanneroo Raceway.
“Obviously, it’s been a pretty political start to the year. I’m just really feeling refreshed and want to get on with it,” McLaughlin told Speedcafe.com.
“It is what it is. You’ve just got to roll with the punches regardless if they’re good or bad.
“We know that we’re doing a good job and we’ll just keep doing that.
“It is nice that is has been a little bit quieter on that (political) front.
“The boys have been able to have a bit more of a look at the car, and have been able to just set it down and keep working on bits and pieces that they haven’t been able to work to because the schedule has just been crazy.”
McLaughlin is this weekend joined by his Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver Alexandre Premat, who has made the trip from America to log his first laps in the Mustang in this morning’s Additional Driver practice.
The US-based Frenchman is eager to sample the car having missed the co-driver outing at Symmons Plains last month.
“When you get the opportunity to come over and do some laps, for sure it’s better,” Premat told Speedcafe.com.
“First, to learn the car, and it’s more easier to speak with the team (face-to-face).
“I’m just making sure it will get more easy (for me) going through the year.
“It’s always nice when you get the opportunity to come and do some laps.
“I know it’s going to be 10 laps, more or less, in the dry or the wet conditions, but (it is good to) just to get a feel on the car.
“I mean, we know how to drive a car, so I wouldn’t say it would be hard.
“It will be interesting for me to learn that new car with the new downforce package, with the new linear springs. It’s always nice to know.”
It is set to be an important run given than the primary drivers only have one 40 minute practice session before knockout Armor All Qualifying.
“Absolutely, having a run in that first session is going to be handy (for Alex), then Practice 1 is obviously going to be tough,” added McLaughlin.
“I think people who have tested here last week will probably be a leg up. They obviously know what’s up, and we will just have to try and adapt to it as best we can.
“All we’ve got to do is get into the (top) 10.”
Supercars will hit the track for the Additional Driver practice at 0920 local time/AEST while Practice 1 is scheduled for 1040.