A little bit of neck pain hasn’t dampened Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin’s enthusiasm over his IndyCar test run in the United States.
The DJR Team Penske star was invited by team owner Roger Penske to take part in the test at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, completing more than 140 laps of the 6km road circuit.
The test was a five-car trial for drivers with limited or no IndyCar experience.
“Unreal, the car is a beast. It’s everything I dreamt of. I’m so thankful to Roger, Tim and Team Penske to be able to come over here and run an IndyCar. It’s a dream come true. It’s been a big day,” McLaughlin said.
“My neck is absolutely torched. I need to work on that but certainly a really cool opportunity.”
McLaughlin’s test was watched by Penske’s regular IndyCar drivers, including Australian Will Power.
Indy500 winner Power was impressed by the 26-year-old McLaughlin’s performance.
“Did a good job. You do that many laps man, you’re going to be spent tonight,” Power said.
McLaughlin has long been linked with a move to the US to pursue racing opportunities.
After claiming his second consecutive Supercars championship and this year’s Bathurst 1000 crown, there is little left for McLaughlin to achieve in Australian motorsport.
The New Zealander recently married his wife Karly Paone, who is American, and the couple have spent most of the Supercars off-season holidaying in New York.
Penske, a billionaire businessman whose team has won the Indy 500 a record 18 times, is a huge admirer of McLaughlin and apparently very keen to bring the Ford star into his stable of American-based drivers either in the open-wheel IndyCar category or the Nascar championship.
While McLaughlin will now return to Australia for the Supercars championship starting in Adelaide at the end of February, he hinted an American stint was firmly on his mind.
“It’s all good. I’m really proud … hopefully I’m back in America sometime soon,” he said.