McLaughlin completes first IndyCar test of 2021

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin believes he isn’t “too far off” the pace after completing his first IndyCar Series test of the year with Team Penske.

The three-time Supercars champion clocked 130 laps of the 2.7km short course at Sebring International Raceway in his freshly painted PPG-backed Chevrolet-powered Dallara IR-18.

The Kiwi set a best time of 52.469s to end the day 0.679s away from the leading pace set by Patricio O’Ward of Arrow McLaren SP.

“It was a pretty busy day,” said McLaughlin.

“My neck is feeling it after a long off-season, but [I’m] happy I did the work.

“I’m feeling good. We’re getting closer, which is the main thing.

“We weren’t too far off. We were down the bottom of the timesheets but I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in the car.

“It’s so close. It’s the most competitive series in the world and I’m excited for more test days coming up and getting more and more comfortable in the car.”

Team Penske was joined by Rahal Letterman Lanigan, Arrow McLaren SP, Andretti Autosport, and Ed Carpenter Racing, in an IndyCar Series test that totalled 14 entries.

O’Ward led the day’s running with a 51.790s with Andretti Autosport driver Alexander Rossi a little over a tenth adrift on a 51.928s in second, fresh off of winning the 24 Hours of Daytona.

Josef Newgarden was the leading Team Penske entry on a 52.055s, two and a half tenths away from O’Ward.

Andretti Autosport pair Colton Herta and Oliver Askew were fourth and fifth, the latter filling in for James Hinchcliffe.

Felix Rosenqvist (Arrow McLaren SP), Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), Conor Daly (Ed Carpenter), Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), and Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing) completed the top 10.

Team Penske duo Will Power and Simon Pagenaud were 11th and 12th ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay in 13th and McLaughlin 14th, the last of the runners.

NTT IndyCar Series unofficial pre-season test, Sebring International Raceway

Pos No. Driver Team Penske Lap Diff Laps
1 5 Patricio O’Ward Arrow McLaren SP 51.790 124
2 27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport 51.928 -0.138 122
3 2 Josef Newgarden Team Penske 52.055 -0.265 138
4 26 Colton Herta Andretti Autosport 52.061 -0.271 116
5 29 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport 52.240 -0.450 109
6 7 Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP 52.258 -0.468 91
7 39 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 52.302 -0.512 139
8 20 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing 52.311 -0.521 123
9 15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 52.356 -0.566 157
10 21 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing 52.358 -0.568 99
11 12 Will Power Team Penske 52.362 -0.572 145
12 22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske 52.378 -0.588 120
13 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 52.464 -0.674 106
14 3 Scott McLaughlin Team Penske 52.469 -0.679 130

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]