McLaughlin to play long game in IndyCars

Ed JacksonAAP
Scott McLaughlin is closing in on his first race as a full-time IndyCar competitor.
Camera IconScott McLaughlin is closing in on his first race as a full-time IndyCar competitor. Credit: AP

He was a Supercars superstar but when it comes to the 2021 IndyCars season, Scott McLaughlin admits he's back to being a rookie.

The three-time Supercars champion will start his full-time IndyCar career next week when the series starts with the Grand Prix of Alabama.

It won't be the New Zealander's first IndyCar race after debuting in last year's season finale on the streets of St Petersburg in Florida.

But McLaughlin says he has to be realistic about his performance as he comes to terms with a new car and a new championship.

"It's one of those deals where you've got to realise I am a rookie again," McLaughlin told RadioTAB.

"I've got to realise more than anyone that I'm a rookie again.

"I've just got to take it step-by-step and not put too much pressure on myself, which I tend to do.

"It's going to be interesting but I've certainly got all the tools to do it."

The season opener will be held at the Barber Motorsport Park, a 17-turn, 3.8km road course in Leeds, Alabama.

McLaughlin, who took part in a pre-season test run in Sebring, Texas, late last month, said starting the year on a road circuit rather than one of American's high speed oval circuits will be to his advantage.

"I've been driving around by myself at the end of the day but that'll all change when I'm side-by-side and I'm going to have to learn a whole new kettle of fish," he said.

"That's going to take some time but prepared to be here long enough to get used to it.

"It's nice to be able to start my first IndyCar season with more road courses than ovals, at least I know how to turn left and right."

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