Mustang makes ‘cool’ entry into world of Supercars
Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin was looking forward to pushing the limits of his new Ford Mustang after rolling it out for its first full Supercars test day at Phillip Island.
McLaughlin hit the track in the Mustang on Thursday morning at the Supercars pre-season test and quickly galloped his pony to the top of the standings with his lap of 1:31.0656 in the first half hour.
But the DJR Team Penske star's early benchmark was overtaken by the No.2 Walkinshaw Andretti United car of Scott Pye (1:31.0293) and then Erebus Motorsport's David Reynolds (1:30.9532).
McLaughlin said he was happy with the feel of the Mustang on track and was looking forward to seeing what more it could do deliver the day.
"It was cool, I was actually following a Mustang and seeing all the lights and the differences, it's really exciting,'' McLaughlin said after stepping out of the car.
"I think that's when it hits home that Mustang's in the sport and hats off to everyone at Ford.
"It feels great ... I'm not at the limit yet. A couple more laps we'll find out where it is good and bad.
"At the moment I am pushing to what the grip has, so far it's there or thereabouts and similar to what I'm used to. I'm happy, but I'm sure people are going to go faster as well.''
McLaughlin, who gave the Ford Falcon the perfect send-off when he claimed his maiden Supercars championship at Newcastle last year, said the Mustang felt similar behind the wheel.
"It doesn't feel too much different. That's always a good sign because you can understand the car a bit more, but at the same time we are not at the limit yet so we will see,'' McLaughlin said.
DJR Team Penske, Tickford Racing and 23Red Racing are all debuting the new Mustang at testing on Thursday.
McLaughlin said the team's focus was getting ahead in its car preparations before the season-opening race at the Adelaide 500, starting February 28.
"At the moment we are just running through our program and trying to get ahead of our schedule before we head to Adelaide so we have got more tune time rather than worrying about that at the race,'' he said.
"Obviously (with a) new car we want to get as much time to tune the car as we can. So far so good, the car is running well so we are trying to get ahead of all the mechanical bits that we need to do at the race track.''
The full Supercars field of 24 drivers is testing at the Victorian circuit.
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