McLaughlin out to improve on ‘difficult’ Indy 500 experience to date
Saturday 22nd April, 2023 - 11:52am
Scott McLaughlin is out to improve in 2023 on what he has described as “a difficult first couple of years in the Indy 500.”
The three-time Supercars champion quickly became competitive on ovals, even if he admits he has more to learn about the craft, but results at The Brickyard have been subpar.
McLaughlin was classified 20th on debut in 2021 then 29th last year, when he crashed out while running 11th on merit, just inside the final quarter of the race.
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The Month of May has effectively already begun with this week’s Indy 500 Open Test, where Josef Newgarden set the pace in the #2 Team Penske entry.
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Team-mate McLaughlin said on Peacock during that test, “They’ve [Newgarden and Will Power] got more experience than me so, if they’re happy, I’m happy, because it’s been a difficult first couple of years in the Indy 500 for me with Penske.
“So, I’m excited for what’s ahead for us in the Month of May. A lot of preparation’s gone on behind the scenes to make sure our Pennzoil Chevy’s fast and Josef’s and Will’s cars are fast as well, so it’s awesome to be back.
“There’s nothing like driving here. You drive out and the speeds, the feeling… you get back here and there’s something new every time and it’s so cool.”
While the New Zealander’s results in the Indianapolis 500 have not been brilliant, Penske generally has been below its best in recent years, particularly in 2022.
McLaughlin, however, was confident at what turned out to be the conclusion of testing.
“I think we just ended with a really, really good car,” he remarked, having finished the day 10th-fastest.
“Everything that we’ve tested, we got a positive or a negative out of it. That’s always good to compile it all together and hopefully make a pretty good race car.
“Towards the end, running in traffic I felt good. I’m still learning how to get a tow in an IndyCar so I’ll work on that, but apart from that, I think we’ve got a pretty speedy race car.”
Day 2 of the Indy 500 Open Test was cancelled due to rain, with the IndyCar field next in action on Friday (April 28, local time) at Barber Motorsports Park before returning to The Brickyard in May.
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