McLaughlin's new perspective after COVID-19 break

Supercars points leader Scott McLaughlin says he'll return to racing with a renewed sense of appreciation after the three-month coronavirus layoff.

shares
comments
McLaughlin's new perspective after COVID-19 break

The two-time series champion is travelling to Sydney from his Brisbane base today, ahead of the first race meeting since the 2020 season was stopped midway through March by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reflecting on the unexpected break, McLaughlin reckons it's given him a fresh perspective on both racing and life – particularly when it comes to some of the 'chores' a race driver faces such as PR work.

"I think it puts everything into perspective," he told Motorsport.com.

"Not only what we do, but life itself. Taking it for granted that you can go down the road and have a beer...

"Absolutely it gets busy [as a race driver], especially in a team like Penske that asks a lot out of you in terms of PR. You feel like it's hard, but it's really not that hard.

"When you have a break... I thought 'oh this will be good, we'll have two weeks off' after Albert Park. And then you get to the third, fourth, sixth, seventh week and you think 'far out I'm bored, I want to go back to my job'."

Read Also:

The upside to the break, says McLaughlin, is that it was timely for his DJR Team Penske squad.

While it was McLaughlin that emerged from the season-opener in Adelaide with the points lead, it was the Triple Eight Holdens that set the ultimate pace.

"I think the break happened at a good time for our team," he said.

"We weren't necessarily the fastest car, but we had a lot to think about and knew what we could work on. We needed the time, and we got that."

Not that McLaughlin is predicting a DJRTP cakewalk at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend. In fact, he says the uncertainties – such as the format and changes to staffing allowances – could open the door for a surprise or two.

"I think you'll see a bit more of a wildcard aspect," he said.

"And we're also going to a track that we haven't been to for a while and other cars have been strong there in the past that aren't necessarily strong everywhere. You could probably throw a Brad Jones Racing into the mix or something like that. I think it's going to be really interesting.

"And with the Top 15 Shootout, if you have a good lap from 15th you could throw yourself right up there. It's easy to do that in a Shootout.

"I'm really excited. I'm not nervous, I just want to see what goes on."

Purchase deal secured for Supercars backer Virgin

Previous article

Purchase deal secured for Supercars backer Virgin

Next article

Team Sydney moves to Sydney

Team Sydney moves to Sydney
Load comments

About this article

Series Supercars
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020
Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester" Prime

Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester"

Scott McLaughlin has been a controversial figure in Supercars over the past few years but, as he heads off to a fresh challenge in IndyCar, the Australian tin-top series needs to find someone else to fill his drama-filled boots as the category enters a new era...

Supercars
Nov 3, 2020
Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title Prime

Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title

Scott McLaughlin was quick to describe his third Supercars title as his best yet. But even though it didn't match the dramatic backstory of his 2018 triumph, there's a good reason for him wanting to control the narrative this time around.

Supercars
Oct 2, 2020
Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars Prime

Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars

The Bathurst Grand Final may provide Supercars its greatest spectacle yet – but there's a risk it will force the series to face a hard truth.

Supercars
Sep 4, 2020
Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver Prime

Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver

Scott McLaughlin, two-time and current Supercars champion, should have been making his NTT IndyCar Series debut for Team Penske at the GP of Indianapolis, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced a rescheduling that has put the brakes on his career switch. But David Malsher-Lopez explains why the New Zealander deserves this opportunity as soon as possible.

IndyCar
Jul 4, 2020
Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney Prime

Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney

When the Supercars season resumes James Courtney will be a Tickford Racing driver – but it's not the first time the star driver has flirted with the famous Ford squad.

Supercars
May 19, 2020