Supercars champion McLaughlin "harshest critic" of IndyCar adaptation

Supercars convert Scott McLaughlin says he's "oblivious" to the impression he is making during IndyCar testing ahead of his 2021 full-time debut as he's "my own harshest critic"

Supercars champion McLaughlin "harshest critic" of IndyCar adaptation

The three-time Supercars champion completed a strong test day at Barber Motorsports Park this week , finishing 0.161 seconds behind Penske team-mate Will Power, just a few hundredths behind Josef Newgarden, and was slightly quicker than Simon Pagenaud.

All three are previous champions and winners at Barber, but McLaughlin - who has just one race start to his credit in the 2020 finale - insists he's not yet aware of making a great impression.

"I'm oblivious to that stuff because I'm my own harshest critic," he told Autosport.

"I've got three guys alongside me who I want to beat, and if I'm not beating them, regardless of my lack of experience, I'm not really satisfied. It's just in my competitive nature.

"Today I was satisfied to a certain extent, but Will was a tenth or so down the road, and a couple of boys in other Chevys were also ahead.

"I think I've definitely made gains and I'm enjoying that, really pushing myself, but I know I've got to do better."

Being able to return to the 17-turn, 2.38-mile track in Alabame, where he tested last November, was one of the gratifying parts of the day, says McLaughlin.

"It makes a difference going to a track that you know and it's not going to be like that for me at many places this year, so I've got to take it when I can," he added.

"So coming here and knowing what to expect from the car around here was good.

"We've put a lot of effort in behind the scenes, myself and my engineer Jonathan [Diuguid], to figure out what I want from the car and what everyone else wants from the car.

"So this was a really good day, quantifying a lot of things. It was a test day but we treated it as one big practice session for the race weekend."

Regarding comparing himself with Newgarden, Power and Pagenaud, McLaughlin said there was already plenty of overlap, although he suggested there were still plenty of areas where he could improve.

He also admitted after a not "amazing" Sebring test, a debrief after that helped steer him in a better direction with car set-up.

"There's bits and pieces where I'm OK, and there are other areas where I'm really bad," he said.

"Simon is really fast in some areas, Josef is really fast in some areas and really solid - he can get a lap time out of the car quite easily. And then Will... everyone knows his pedigree and how he can get a fast lap together.

"So, I've got three of the best team-mates I could have, I'm really enjoying the fact that they're pushing me so hard.

"And the team is pushing me hard, too. I'm building a really good relationship with Jonathan; he's a great guy but also someone I really enjoy working with.

"Having all these people around me, the situation I'm in, puts a lot of positivity in your life, in your brain, and I'm having a ball.

"Learning a totally different kettle of fish is really enjoyable and challenging."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott McLaughlin
Author David Malsher
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