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HomeNewsMcLaughlin felt 'like Donkey Kong' in Daytona debut

McLaughlin felt ‘like Donkey Kong’ in Daytona debut

SCOTT McLaughlin has spoken glowingly of his first taste of a LMP2 prototype as his 24 Hours of Daytona race debut draws nearer.

McLaughlin is sharing the #8 Tower Motorsports Oreca 07 with Team Penske stablemate Josef Newgarden, IndyCar up-and-comer Kyffin Simpson and Canadian John Farano.

The quartet will start just 56th in the 61-car field on Saturday (January 28) after Farano brought out the red flags during qualifying, but that has done little to dampen McLaughlin’s spirits.

“I’m enjoying it, loving it,” the three-time Supercars champion said in a video interview with RACER’s Marshall Pruett.

“First (LMP2) experience ever which is pretty interesting.

“This morning, I have never looked at my mirror so much in my life. It was wild, it was fun though.

“Just finding my feet and figuring out the car a little bit.

“It reminds me, the way you have got to drive it is kind of similar to the Supercar in some ways, like it is quite a heavier car than the IndyCar and in a few other ways but it’s a blast.

“There’s so many buttons you can push in the thing and everything lights up.

“It’s a pretty nice car, it’s just really small – I feel like Donkey Kong in there. Like literally I’m up and about.”

McLaughlin (right) with Josef Newgarden. Pic: Scott McLaughlin Twitter

Aside from adjustments being made to the race seat to better cater for McLaughlin’s height, and full-speed driver change practice to come, McLaughlin will take the opportunity before race day to visit Disney World roughly an hour’s drive southwest of the Florida circuit.

Up against him in the LMP2 class are the likes of ex-Formula 1 drivers Esteban Gutierrez, Giedo van der Garde and Pietro Fittipaldi.

The 24-hour race takes place five weeks out from the IndyCar season-opener, also in Florida, at St. Petersburg.

“It’s such a good start to the season. This is the first time I have driven something so high level since Laguna (the 2022 IndyCar finale last September), so it was blowing the cobwebs out a little bit,” said McLaughlin.

“I have never been here before, it’s the first time I have set foot in Daytona.

“It’s wild, ran up the banking last night, that was pretty cool. Just had a blast, loving it.”

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