MEDIA RELEASE/Team 18 - Photo: supplied Team 18 has recruited multiple championship and Bathurst-winning engineer…
MEDIA RELEASE/Grove Racing/Scott McLughlin – Photo: Scotts FB & Velocity Magazine
So I’m writing this on the plane to the USA – you’re probably not surprised, I can’t sleep…
It’s been a big week we’ve just been through with the title defense on the mountain, and she’s a mega one ahead!
Things are exciting and crazy and hectic and bloody busy, but I’m loving every second of it right now.
No wonder I can’t sleep!
So America first – I left at lunchtime on Monday from Sydney and land Monday morning in LA, and head straight for Mooresville in North Carolina.
I’ll have a couple of days at the Team Penske workshop on the sim learning St Pete, and having an updated seat fitting – thankfully I’ve lost a few kilos since I last sat in the car at the start of the year!
Then I head for Florida with the team on Thursday to prepare for the weekend on the streets of St Petersburg in the IndyCar finale.
So many people across the weekend were asking me how I thought I would go – and to be honest, I’ve no idea. I’m going in with an open mind – and wide-open eyes!
It’ll be a great experience – I just can’t wait – and I’ve got my fingers crossed it all works.
I’ve just got to grab the opportunity with both hands and run with it – I know Penske cars are some of the best cars and fastest cars out there so I’m in a great spot.
Now I just have to get comfortable, get up to speed – and give it one hell of a crack. You guys know me well enough to know I’ll be giving my all.
I’m so pleased Fox Sports has agreed to show qualifying and the race so you can all keep track of our progress across the weekend.
Again, if I had a dollar for everyone who asked me over the weekend at Mount Panorama if this was going to be my last weekend in a Supercar – I’d probably be able to buy a Taco Bell to make Karly happy!
At the end of the day – and I’m being as honest as possible – I remain contracted to DJR Team Penske next year, and unless things change, that’s where I’ll be next year.
I’ve had a wonderful time in Supercars, I’ve won races and championships and got records I could only dream of – and it’s one of the best motorsport series on earth – so I’m in no rush to leave.
Now it’s up to me to perform on the weekend, and ultimately then it’s up to Roger Penske to lock in the jigsaw puzzle for 2021 so we all know what’s in store. I hope I do him proud across this weekend. And I hope you all enjoy it.
Now, to the weekend at Bathurst.
Things didn’t quite go to plan – fifth is still a solid result, but at the end of the day Shane and Garth and the Triple Eight team were just at the very top of the game, and I think all of us were playing for second.
I loved partnering with Tim Slade who did a wonderful job and I’m really proud of him and thrilled for him and Dani with the arrival of Jordan last week!
To officially be crowned the champion for the third time was bloody satisfying, and to have the moment to do a burnout across the top of the mountain was something I’ll remember forever!
I’ll apologise again to the team for making them repair the car – but even they loved it, so I don’t think they’ll mind.
To win the Barry Sheene Medal for the third time caught me by surprise on Sunday night. I was lost for words on stage as you may have watched, but to win something that every single driver up and down pitlane cherishes means so much, because Baz was such an icon of global motorsport.
And for the Shell V-Power Racing Team to secure the teams’ championship capped off a remarkable year – it certainly hasn’t been a memorable year – and I know a lot of people reading this have done it really tough this year. But I hope what the sport of Supercars has been able to do to get a season in has kept you all entertained in these tough times.
I’ll touch base again after St. Pete.
Keep your fingers crossed this all works out OK! We’ll be giving it our all!
Take care. SM.
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