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Penske to make IndyCar decision on McLaughlin within 30 days

Simon Chapman

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Friday 23rd October, 2020 - 8:25am

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Scott McLaughlin

Roger Penske says a decision on whether Scott McLaughlin will go full-time in the IndyCar Series needs to be made within the next 30 days.

To date, McLaughlin has said that he will let the Team Penske boss decide whether he makes the move to the United States in 2021.

However, in an interview this week on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, the team boss said he’ll let McLaughlin figure out what he wants to do.

“He’s going to see exactly whether he wants to do that full time,” Penske said.

“We’ve got to make that decision over the next 30 days.”

McLaughlin will make his IndyCar Series racing debut this weekend on the streets of St Petersburg in what will be the season finale.

Penske’s comments were put to McLaughlin in a media call on Friday (AEDT).

The 27-year-old believed there was still a lot to learn but said he was “pretty confident” he would like the series.

“I think it’s an opportunity to learn and understand what goes into it,” said McLaughlin.

“COTA was good in some ways where I understood the car, I understood how to sort of get some time out of the race car.

“When you’re doing one lap by yourself, it’s a lot easier than when you’re put with 23 other drivers heading down to turn one.

“I’m fully expecting a new challenge when I get into the racing side of things with in- and out-laps, pit stops, all that sort of stuff.

“I think there’s still a lot of things that I haven’t come across that I need to learn and need to understand before I actually make a decision, as a team.

“This is an opportunity. It’s something that I’m just going to go in like a sponge, soak everything up, see what comes out of it.

“I’m pretty confident that I’m going to like the series, I’m going to like the cars, I’m going to like everything. There wouldn’t be a reason why I wouldn’t be here.

“It’s cool that I’m able to have that support from Roger, the team, Tim, to allow me to be able (to) try to achieve stuff overseas, accomplish dreams.

“To have that support, it’s a pretty cool thing for a person who drives for someone.”

Earlier this year the 27-year-old has tested with the team at Sebring International Raceway, Circuit of The Americas, and Texas Motor Speedway.

McLaughlin was slated to contest “half a dozen” IndyCar events this year. However, those plans were scuppered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It’ll be a short orientation for the three-time Supercars champion who will have just one practice session before getting into qualifying.

McLaughlin will have a warm-up session in the morning with the 100-lap race getting underway at 14:30 local time/05:30 AEST on Monday

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