Scott McLaughlin (C) won the Bathurst 1000 for the first time last year. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts)
Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin will make his IndyCar Series debut at the Indianapolis GP on May 9.
- McLaughlin, a two-time Supercars champion, had his first session in an open-wheeled IndyCar in the US last month
- He will look to get more experience by taking part in pre-season testing in Texas next week
- The race earmarked for McLaughlin’s IndyCar debut in May has been won by Australian Will Power three times, the last in 2018
The 26-year-old New Zealander, who has won the last two V8 titles, will aim to become just the fourth driver to win three straight championships and speculation about his future has been rife.
McLaughlin is off-contract at the end of the 2020 Supercars season and successfully tested an IndyCar in Florida last month.
Team Penske tweet: NEWS: Defending @supercars Champion @smclaughlin93 will make his @IndyCar debut at the Indy GP at @IMS in May! #INDYCAR #VASC @DJRTeamPenske
That was enough to persuade Team Penske majority owner, US motorsport great Roger Penske to throw him in at Indianapolis — although he will be on the grid for the Supercars season start in Adelaide on February 20.
“This is an amazing opportunity — to race against some of the best open wheel drivers in the world on one of the most historic tracks in motorsports,” said McLaughlin in a statement.
“I’m excited about the challenge of trying to win a third-consecutive Supercars championship.
“I’m also really looking forward to this new opportunity.
“With the experience I gained at the test in Sebring, I know a little bit more about what to expect when I get back into the car.
“I just want to learn as much as I can every time I’m in the car so I can make the most of the opportunity to race with the team at the grand prix in Indianapolis.”
McLaughlin will also participate in next week’s pre-season testing at Circuit of the Americas in Texas in the number two Dallara/Chevrolet car.
Scott McLaughlin has won the Supercars title the last two years, but he comes off contract at the end of the season. (AAP: Mark Horsburgh)
Team Penske has won five of the six IndyCar Series races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course since the series began competing at the track in 2014.