The disparate differences between a V8 Supercar and an IndyCar were what enticed Scott McLaughlin to jump ship and race in the United States.
The three-time Supercars champion moved to the US full-time this year, taking up a gig with Team Penske in one of their four IndyCar entries.
McLaughlin has since made an impact on the paddock in his rookie season. His first podium came in just his fourth-ever race and his first time racing on an oval.
He is 12th in the driver’s championship with three rounds remaining and is leading the Rookie of the Year standings.
His success this year highlights his adept talent of racing different classes of a race car.
The low-downforce, lightweight IndyCar is a complete contrast to the heavy, gruntier V8 Supercar McLaughlin spent almost his entire career driving.
But chatting on the ‘This Week in IndyCar’ podcast, McLaughlin says it was the fresh challenge of IndyCar that appealed to him over something more akin to Supercars, such as NASCAR.
“I have got to be realistic and realise that it is my first-ever open-wheel season,” he said.
“That has taken some time to adjust to and accept.
“I am learning a lot of new tracks. Plus, I am still trying to figure this car out and get myself at a good comfort level. So, that has been hard.
“But those were a lot of the reasons why I wanted to go with IndyCar.
“It is completely different to what I have ever done.
“Not saying NASCAR is very similar to a Supercar but the NASCAR still has a roof over my head and the car sort of feels the same.”
McLaughlin’s passion for IndyCar first stemmed from watching fellow Kiwi Scott Dixon when he was younger.
“To see IndyCar, and I knew where it was going with Roger [Penske], it was really exciting times for everyone.
“IndyCar is in a really good spot right now, and I was excited to have the opportunity.
“I have loved [IndyCar] since I was kid. I have always idolised Scott Dixon and I just wanted to be a part of it.”
In typical rookie fashion, McLaughlin has mixed sublime results with more mediocre ones this year.
Being a consistently fast driver is his primary objective over his IndyCar career, but he suggests that that will come over time.
“I have probably got three years before I am completely knocking on the door week after week.
“I certainly can get faster and faster as every week goes on, and maybe pop up sporadically from time to time. But the main goal is to be consistent all the time.”