Motorsport: Scott McLaughlin takes full time IndyCar drive as Team Penske quit Supercars

After claiming three consecutive Supercars titles, Kiwi motorsport star Scott McLaughlin is moving on to the next stage of his career.

The 27-year-old will leave the Supercars arena in 2021 to take up a full-time driving position in next year’s Indycar Series, driving for Team Penske and completing the team’s four-car, full-season lineup.

McLaughlin will get his first taste of IndyCar on Monday morning when he takes part in the 2020 season’s final race in Florida, where fellow Kiwi Scott Dixon is attempting to secure a sixth series title.

While confirming McLaughlin’s move, American motorsport giant Roger Penske, the man behind Team Penske, has announced his exit from Supercars after a hugely successful six-year spell partnering with Dick Johnson Racing.

DJR will continue to race under its own badge in 2021.

McLaughlin leaves the Supercars arena ranked fourth on the all-time wins list with 56 career victories, and second on the all-time list with 76 career poles in just eight full seasons of racing.

“I’m so excited for the opportunity to take the next step in my career and compete against some of the best drivers in the world in the Indycar series,” McLaughlin said.

“The last four years racing for DJR Team Penske has been amazing. I want to thank every single person on the team, and everyone that has helped me reach this point in my career.

“I wouldn’t be in position to continue to chase my dream without the hard work of so many people along the way. I’m looking forward to the challenge of joining one of the most iconic motorsports programs of all time – Team Penske’s IndyCar team. I wish the 2021 season would begin tomorrow.”

McLaughlin will join former Indycar series champions Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud in Team Penske’s 2021 Indycar lineup, with the 2021 season beginning in March.

Team Penske founder and CEO Roger Penske says it’s been a tough decision to pull out of a series it has been so successful in.

“We have enjoyed an incredible six seasons competing in the Supercars series with DJR Team Penske,” said Penske.

“Unfortunately, with the challenges we have faced in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to readjust our business initiatives for 2021 and beyond.”

Fans of Dick Johnson Racing can breathe easy, as the Supercars legend has confirmed his team will live on.

“While we hate to see them go, we understand the tough business decisions that have to be made. We’ve worked together over the last six years to build a team that has become the benchmark for performance both on and off the track,” said Johnson.

“With the assistance of Roger and Team Penske we will be in position to build on that success. Our team will continue to be a leader in Supercars racing.”

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