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MEDIA RELEASE/Grove Racing & Scott McLaughlin – Photo: supplied

Below is Scott McLaughlin’s Corner to Grove Racing’s Supporters, they have kindly given Velocity Magazine permission to share with everyone.

Hey guys,

Welcome to my first edition of “Scott’s Corner”. In this I want to give Grove Racing’s supporters a little behind the scenes look into my year and what is going on throughout my race weekends. Grove has been a huge supporter of mine for many years and it is really cool to start this cool little segment with them which should get really exciting in the future.

As most of you know I just got back from the USA; I got married on the 13th December in California to my amazing wife Karly. We had an amazing day with all of our closest friends and family.

We spent Christmas and New Years with both families in New York (where Karly is from), which was really awesome to have happen, as you can imagine it is hard to get two families from different sides of the world together at once.

At the end of the trip, I got the opportunity from Roger Penske and the Team Penske crew to drive one of their IndyCar’s. This was a little reward for some of the results we have achieved in Australia and I have always been on to Roger about driving anything in America and thanks to him he gave me this awesome opportunity.

The test was at Sebring Raceway in Florida. Sebring is a very bumpy old airfield, the Indy Car Series doesn’t even race there, but they use this place for testing especially in the winter, as in Florida you are almost guaranteed to have sunny weather, and we certainly did on this day.

Testing is very limited in IndyCar much like Supercars. This was a ‘driver evaluation day’ which only Rookies could attend. I was one of four cars there on the day, so at least I wasn’t alone and the track could clean up and get some grip on it, a bit quicker than if I was just by myself.

It all started at 8am, a sunny day, a little chilly but not too bad. Team Penske bought a lot of people to the test; there would’ve been 40 odd people there including all the IndyCar drivers. A lot of them were very keen to see the Aero Screen on the car, for some people the first time. They have been having cooling issues with the screen, so they were trying different bits and pieces to help the driver get some airflow in the cockpit.

My main objective for the day was to creep up on everything slowly, learn the aero, the grip, the power, the brake performance; it all is a fair bit different to the Supercar that I am used to. I had never really driven an open-wheeler before apart from a Formula Ford, which is a whole lot different.

I had a couple of little offs trying to find the limit, flat-spotted a tyre here and there but it was all apart of learning the car and getting the most out of it.

Like I said before testing is quite restrictive in this series, so it was important for me to try some things the team needed to put on the car. Once I got comfortable in the car, they started throwing some changes at me and it was really cool feeling different aero balances and suspension changes. Trying to figure out how I like the car and where I wanted it to be.

We had a couple of new tyre runs, which were good for me to feel how the tyre comes up to temp and how long it stays good for. I did struggle a little getting the ultimate time out of the tyre, knowing the limits of the car, etc. This probably affected how quick I was outright at the end of the day.

What really made my day though, at the end we went for a long run with a bit more of a different philosophy set up wise. It worked well for me and I completed 15-20 laps in a row, consistently. Maybe not my fastest laps of the day but certainly felt the most comfortable I had all day.

At the end of the day, it was an awesome opportunity and who knows where it will lead to. But for me, my family and supporters, it was a huge day, a bucket list day and something I will never forget. Thank you to Team Penske for the opportunity.

Now I am back in Australia and it is time to get ready to attack the Supercars Championship yet again. Three in a row sounds pretty good to me!


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