Having the 2013 season to learn the New Generation V8 Supercar is the reason for Volvo’s early success, according to Valvoline GRM’s star driver Scott McLaughlin.
When asked by Perth’s 96FM why his team was strong out of the box compared to rivals Erebus Motorsport, which switched to Mercedes AMG’s last season, McLaughlin said the opportunity to learn about the V8 Supercar was key.
“I think we’ve just had a little bit of time,” McLaughlin said.
“We had one year of Car of the Future to sort our chassis out. Basically all we’ve had to develop is an aero package for the new Volvo, which is the look and stuff, and the engine package.
“So we’ve had two things, rather than just build a whole car from scratch, so we’ve had it all working and all going, just had to fix two things and away we’ve gone.”
McLaughlin praised the efforts of his crew, describing the new Polestar S60 racer as fantastic.
“The engine, the aero package – the car is just fantastic. A seriously good contender, we just struggled a little bit in Adelaide.”
While McLaughlin was unable to finish the 250km Sunday race at the season opening Clipsal 500 due to battery issues, he flew home in second in Race Two, earning himself a huge ovation and coining his new catch phrase, “give it some jandal”.
He went one better at the Rolex Australian Grand Prix support races, finishing the final double points race first, which also earned him the event win.
Off the back of that first V8 Supercars Volvo win, McLaughlin will host a live chat tomorrow through Ticketek at 4.30pm AEDT (6.30pm New Zealand time) ahead of the weekend’s Tyrepower Tasmania 400, and McLaughlin’s home race, the ITM 500 Auckland over the ANZAC Day long weekend at Pukekohe Park Raceway.
While he admitted he never thought he’d be driving a Volvo V8 Supercar, he’s more than happy with the situation.
“It’s been awesome, really cool. Volvo’s treated me so well. I was in Sweden last week and it’s been an amazing journey.”
And that post-race interview? McLaughlin’s amazed at how the jandal has gone viral and boosted his popularity.
“It’s pretty funny and pretty cool how it’s caught on – all the drivers are getting pretty pissed off about how much they’re hearing about the jandal! And I’m like, I’m going to keep it going…
“I felt like I was talking to my mates and I got caught in the moment a little bit, made a slip up, but that’s all and that’s what happens.”