Scott McLaughlin will race in the 24 Hours of Daytona
IndyCar team-mates Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden will race together in next year’s 24 Hours of Daytona in an LMP2 car.
The Team Penske drivers will steer the #8 Tower Motorsports entry along with team owner John Farano and Kyffin Simpson.
For both, it represents a debut in prototype racing, and one which McLaughlin teased last month when he tweeted a photograph of the Florida circuit’s ‘roval’ layout.
“I’ve never driven a prototype before,” said the three-time Supercars champion.
“The whole reason I’m doing this is really I’ve never done this race before but I’m trying to expand my racing portfolio.
“Saying that, you have to expand it doing some marquee events.
“Daytona 24 Hour, Sebring and Petit, that’s three events in America that I really want to do.”
He confirmed also that it is the next step in trying to get into the new Porsche Penske LMDh programme.
“No doubt,” said McLaughlin.
“For me, [the LMP2 drive] is a great introduction into this racing where I can learn and understand the race a little bit.
“If you can run an LMP2, it’s not too dissimilar to what the top class runs.
“I might not ever be a part of it and there’s nothing being promised to me about that – and I think the same thing is for Josef – but I think it’s just the fact of if I expand my CV by proving I’ve done this race before and then absolutely if Penske come up to me and the team said, ‘Would you like to drive that Porsche?’ For sure, I’d love to do it.
“But ultimately this year is just focusing on Tower.”
His Bus Bros co-star said, “There’s a lot of variables that we’re not familiar with, both Scott and myself, so we’re going to be getting up to speed to some degree.
“But I believe in our approach and our abilities and I know Scott very well at this point, and I know exactly what he’s capable of.
“I feel him and I together can set the tone just fine and try and really align with John and Kyffin and make this a robust effort.
“Even though it’s brand new to us and we’re going to have to learn a lot, I think we can tackle the challenge head on and be there at the end of the race.”
Newgarden holds similar Porsche ambitions to McLaughlin.
“It’s hard to speak for the Penske Porsche Motorsport program,” the Tennessean said.
“It’s very exciting to watch what they’re doing and obviously we’re big fans of it being within the team, seeing it grow and evolve and excited to see where it’s going to go.
“If there’s something that comes up down the road and they want to put us in the car, we’re going to be all about it, both Scott and I.”
Farano remarked that he is “elated to partner with Josef and Scott, who are seasoned pros and will undoubtedly bring that added spark and determination to the team.
“I am equally excited to welcome the very talented Kyffin Simpson to our team and looking forward to sharing our car with him for all the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races.”
Newgarden will partake in the two-day IMSA test at Daytona this week, while McLaughlin will drive the Oreca LMP2 for the first time in the Roar Before the 24 on January 20-22.
The race itself takes place a week later.