McLaughlin credits real world engineer for iRacing win

McLaughlin celebrated his win with a burnout

Scott McLaughlin has credited real world Team Penske engineer Jonathan Diuguid for his victory at Barber Motorsports Park in the latest IndyCar iRacing Challenge event.

McLaughlin headed team-mate Will Power to the flag by less than half a second at the end of the 45 lap encounter in which the New Zealander employed an aggressive two-stop strategy.

It saw the two-time Supercars champion stop on Lap 13 before charging to another stop late in the race.

With fresh tyres and enough fuel to reach the flag without having to save, he chased down and passed leader Scott Speed with six laps remaining to take his first win in the series.

“I don’t know whether it’s a stat but look, really happy,” McLaughlin told the NBCSN broadcast.

“I actually brought in the IndyCar engineer that I’ve been working with in the States, Jonathan Diuguid, so I give him credit.

“He put me on an awesome strategy. It’s a bit better than me last week, I was playing with the fuel myself, trying to remember the numbers as I was driving, so it was a bit easier this week.”

Diuguid and McLaughlin’s conversation was broadcast over his Twitch feed, giving viewers insight into how the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner operates during a race.

McLaughlin finished fourth in the opening race of the series at Watkins Glen a week ago running without an engineer assisting him.

From Diuguid he received a steady stream of information regarding his direct rivals and track conditions, while also running the strategy.

“We had to make some time in the first stop,” McLaughlin told his Twitch feed.

“When we came in earlier, that was our plan from the start, was always a two-stopper, so I’m glad that we stuck by it.

“We did a practice race yesterday and it was, like, better with new tyres. I was able to pass easier. I think that was awesome.”

However, the race wasn’t without its nervous moments, key among them a Lap 19 restart for a competition caution that flew on Lap 15, just two laps after McLaughlin’s first stop.

“It was crazy. I was particularly nervous at the Safety Car restart, the first one after the caution,” he told the broadcast.

“I had new tyres  but a lot of people didn’t in front.

“We got a pretty good restart there and it was a bit (of) chaos.

“The biggest thing as well was lapped traffic, you know, getting blocked by lapped traffic and I think that enabled us to get that jump in the pits because I was in clear air for a long time where others were.

“So, like I said, credit to Jonathan and his strategy, he put me out in front and put me in some clear air, and I was able to just bang lap times out lap after lap which was awesome.”

The next event of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge will take in the Michigan Super Speedway on April 11.

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