Scott McLaughlin to make official IndyCar debut this weekend, sort of
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As Scott McLaughlin's much touted real-world IndyCar Series debut, scheduled for May, hangs in the balance, the Kiwi is confirmed for a different kind of IndyCar Series debut online.
McLaughlin was today confirmed as a starter in the open-wheel category's six-round official online esports championship; the IndyCar iRacing Challenge.
The 2018 and 2019 Supercars champion is one four Penske Racing drivers set to race in the virtual event, with the other three slots filled by series stalwarts Josef Newgarden, Will Power, and Simon Pagenaud. Other current IndyCar drivers are set to be announced for the grid.
Round one of the online IndyCar series will take place this coming Sunday at 9.00am New Zealand time, with the race itself to take place at either Watkins Glen, Michigan, Montreal, or Auto Club depending on the result of a fan vote.
It's one of two online championships McLaughlin is competing in, with the other being led by Supercars. That series kicks off on April 8, and will feature every full-time driver in the Supercars Championship.
In preparation for the online showdowns, McLaughlin has joined streaming network Twitch (click here to follow) where he has live streamed numerous practice events this week with fellow drivers Anton de Pasquale and Brodie Kostecki, among others.
“It’s going to be perfect for New Zealand viewers on my [Twitch] stream because it’s three hours ahead there so it will be 9am, which works out well,” McLaughlin told Supercars.com.au.
“But I just want to race, I just want to drive and race those guys. I like that they’re fixed set-ups because you have just got to drive the thing and get better and that’s something that I enjoy probably more so.”
The virtual IndyCar iRacing Challenge opener will be streamed online each weekend over the next six weeks, with coverage available at indycar.com, as well as on Facebook and YouTube Live.