Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin is set to get behind the wheel of a Team Penske IndyCar at Sebring next month.
McLaughlin – who is in the United States readying for his wedding – will take to the open-wheeler as part of a rookie evaluation test.
The 26-year-old sealed a second Supercars drivers’ crown in record fashion last month, with the New Zealander breaking the season-wins record en route to consecutive drivers’ titles.
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McLaughlin also broke through for his maiden Bathurst 1000 victory, which sat alongside his other 17 season race wins and 15 pole positions.
The Kiwi’s DJR Team Penske squad is part of the Penske family, with the IndyCar arm of the global squad also enjoying a similarly successful season.
Josef Newgarden claimed a second drivers’ title, while Simon Pagenaud broke through for a maiden Indianapolis 500 win in May.
McLaughlin will take the wheel of the IndyCar on January 13.
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“I am always open to new challenges and I’m thankful to Team Penske for providing this opportunity to test an IndyCar,” said McLaughlin.
“We had an amazing year in 2019 and I’m looking forward to defending our Supercars championship next season.
“I’m also excited to grow as a driver and being with Team Penske creates cool opportunities to try something new. Although I have spent a few hours in a simulator earlier this year, it’s going to be a blast to see what one really feels like at a place like Sebring.”
Team boss Roger Penske added: “Scott has been incredibly successful for DJR Team Penske over the last three seasons and he has become a true champion of our sport.
“He certainly embraces new challenges and we think this is a great opportunity to utilize the IndyCar Series rookie testing program so Scott can experience what it is like to get behind the wheel of one of our IndyCars.”
McLaughlin – who is contracted to DJRTP for 2020 – has made his name in Supercars, but his ambition to race overseas is no secret.
Penske has pulling power, having recently purchased the IndyCar series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and also operates NASCAR and IMSA DPi entries.
After McLaughlin’s Bathurst win, Penske entertained the prospect of the gun driver heading Stateside to race: “We want him to come over [to the United States]… he’s got a good future. You will see him in America I am sure in the near future.
“He’s a guy who knows how to win, knows how to race fast and has great commercial savvy to us in today’s world as we deal with our partners.”