McLaughlin confirms Triple Eight bid
By Mark Fogarty
Thursday 21st September, 2023 - 5:00am
Scott McLaughlin has confirmed he was approached by Triple Eight to co-drive with former Supercars arch-rival Shane van Gisbergen at Bathurst.
Red Bull Ampol Racing put the feelers out to McLaughlin early this year after SVG’s twice-winning co-driver Garth Tander defected to Grove racing.
In the latest Speedcafe Podcast, the Team Penske IndyCar star reveals why he politely declined the offer from Triple Eight.
“I did speak to Jamie and the team there very briefly earlier in the year and it just didn’t kind of feel right to do stuff with a pretty big enemy of mine,” he said.
THE FINAL RACE OF THE 2023 REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP ON ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST STREET CIRCUITS. GO ALL IN AT THE VAILO ADELAIDE 500, CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS
“It was very, very brief chat, but it was something that just couldn’t work at this point in time.
“If had the right opportunity with DJR and it fell into place commercially and whatnot, I’d love to do something.
“But it’s just it’s a little complicated at the moment.”
His alignment with Chevrolet in IndyCar would’ve eased his enduro switch to a Triple Eight Camaro alongside SVG, but his long-term loyalty to Ford team DJR – with whom he had his Supercars success under Penske ownership – ended discussions.
The triple Supercars champion also pointed out that having also won the Bathurst 1000, he is not in a hurry to return until he achieves his ambition of competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance classic.
“I have a lot of loyalty towards DJR and what they did for me,” McLaughlin said. “I think if I hadn’t won that race [Bathurst 1000], the want to do it with the right team would be a lot higher than it is for me right now.
“I feel like I’ve still got so much fish to fry here overseas and as much as that [Bathurst] is one of my most favourite races in the world, I’ve been there and done that.
“And with Supercars bringing back the Sandown 500, it’s very close to the end of my [IndyCar] season. It’s just a rushed time of my life to do it properly. I’d be more aggressive about wanting to do it if I hadn’t won Bathurst.”
His bigger aim is a shot at winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans and he might ultimately get that opportunity through the Penske Porsche WEC programme, underpinned by his independent LMP2 outings this year.
In the Speedcafe Podcast interview, McLaughlin also opens up about taking on SVG in NASCAR and delivers a harsh warning to Supercars about losing its biggest stars to America.