‘Methodical’ McLaughlin proud to crack Fast Six
Saturday 15th May, 2021 - 9:55am
Scott McLaughlin was a standout in qualifying for the Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, hailing a “methodical” approach by Team Penske.
For the first time in his short IndyCar Series career, McLaughlin made it through to the final element of qualifying; the Fast Six.
There, he qualified a career-best fifth in the #3 behind fellow ‘rookie’ Romain Grosjean, Team Penske stable-mate Josef Newgarden, Jack Harvey, and Alex Palou.
McLaughlin’s effort, a 1:09.7140s, put him just three tenths adrift of the quickest time by Grosjean, a 1:09.4396s.
“It was a goal of ours this weekend, to be honest, we really wanted to try and push that top 10,” McLaughlin said after the session.
“We’ve been close before, especially at St Pete. I’m really proud of the effort from the PPG Chevy team there on #3.
“We were methodical all day. We just slowly chipped away at it and we turned up with a really good car for qualifying.”
McLaughlin made mention of Grosjean, who this year made the transition from Formula 1 to the IndyCar Series.
Only six months ago Grosjean was involved in a fiery crash that left him with severe burns to his hands.
“First, props to Romain,” McLaughlin added.
“It’s amazing for him and the sport for him to come back and get pole so soon. It’s been a privilege to be in the rookie class with him and I’m excited to race him tomorrow.”
McLaughlin said he had to keep his emotions in check leading into the final leg of qualifying, ticking off yet another box in his brief career State-side.
“For me, we’ve just been slowly chipping away at it, baby steps,” McLaughlin explained.
“I’m learning the car every time. I didn’t quite get the lap in the Fast six, but it takes a bit of time to bring the adrenaline down. That’s what I found just then.
“You get so excited, you’re in the fast six, and then you’ve got to settle yourself down and get your mind back on the job. Once I get my mindset right and a few other things we’ll be good.”
The Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway gets underway at 04:30 AEST.