Scott Mclaughlin enjoyed a much better outing on the second day of IndyCar’s pre-season test at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
After yesterday’s washout, the weather gods ensured that all teams would get a fair share of running, albeit in a day littered by red flags.
McLaughlin would come to a halt as his Chevrolet powered Team Penske car lost all power at the summit of turn one, bring out one of the session’s first red flags.
However, the two-time Supercars champion and Bathurst victor would eventually head back out to enjoy a day of relatively clean running, notching up an impressive 62 laps and the finished with the session’s third-fastest time with a 1m47.2630s.
“I am really privileged to drive this car. Roger and Team Penske have given me a go and I am just trying to enjoy it as much as I can with a smile on my face,”said McLaughlin.
“It’s an altogether new feeling, but I’m a race driver, I like going fast and this is a lot fun.
“The cars have a lot of grip and tough to drive too. It has a lot of power, especially under braking.
“I remember the first time I braked at Sebring my head nearly hit the steering wheel.
“The last two days have been really tough because I want to get out there and learn as much as I can, soak it all up like a sponge.
“I would love to explore more of America. I would like to be in America one day, that is my ultimate goal.
“Whether it is here (IndyCar) or whether it is there, I just want to be here one day.”
Fellow Kiwi and five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon finish the day as the third-fastest Honda and eighth fastest overall, just under a second behind the quickest time.
Notably, despite the better weather, the day’s running was hindered by 2h40m of red flags due to myriad of incidents.
Mclaughlin’s Team Penske teammate Will Power would top the timesheets when the chequered flag came out at 6 pm local time.
The Australian posted a 1m46.7603s to finish just over two-tenths ahead of second place’s Alexander Rossi.
McLaughlin will look to return to Australia now and begin his own preparations for the 2020 Virgin Australian Supercars Championship, which kicks off with the BP Ultimate SuperTest at Tailem Bend on Tuesday next week.
While Dixon will begin his campaign at the IndyCar season opener at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg held on March 15.