MCLAUGHLIN’S CHEEKY PLOY TO HIDE VOLVO’S SPEED ADVANTAGE

McLaughlin heads Garth Tander during the 2014 Official Pre-season Test at Sydney Motorsport Park. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

SCOTT McLaughlin knew very early on that the Volvo S60 V8 Supercar was going to be a very good car.

In fact, as he told the V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Timken, he actually tried to hide just how good it was!

McLaughlin’s first laps in a Volvo S60 Supercar actually came with one of Garry Rogers Motorsport’s existing Holden Motorsport V8 engines under the bonnet, the unit allowing the team to complete track aero testing before the first of the Volvo V8 engines was ready.

“I can’t remember when we first ran the engine, but when it came in, geez it was so fast! It was an absolute stormer,” McLaughlin recalled on the V8 Sleuth Podcast.

In fact, it was so good that McLaughlin tried to hide its potential during the S60’s first day on track with its new rivals at the 2014 Official Pre-season Test at Sydney Motorsport Park.

“I kid you not, that first test day we rolled out at Eastern Creek, I was running at half-throttle or three-quarter throttle (down the straight) because I was catching Tander and people in HRT wagons and I didn’t want to show that we had a heap of stuff and make it obvious,” he said.

“But obviously Supercars saw it and they turned us down a little bit!”

FEATURE >> What happened to the Volvo V8 Supercars?

Early in the 2014 season, Supercars technical officials made changes to try and achieve better parity between the Holden, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes and Volvo V8s – the first of which saw two-thirds of the Volvo unit’s ballast moved from the sump to higher in the engine bay.

Nevertheless, the union of McLaughlin and the new Volvo resulted in a breakthrough season for the Kiwi, claiming his first Supercars Championship pole position (he’d eventually record a season equal-high of 10 poles) as well as the Volvo S60’s first championship race win at Barbagallo.

The win, however, included a slice of luck.

McLaughlin’s own fabrication work almost undid his first championship race win in a Volvo. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

“We actually cracked a header in that race, we were lucky to continue to be as fast as we were,” McLaughlin recalled.

“Ironically, I did those headers, so it was my own fault!”

His years with GRM and Volvo form part of a wide-ranging chat across the two-part episode of the V8 Sleuth Podcast, which also covers his years in the Super2 Series, his very first drive of a Supercar, how his maiden ‘main game’ drive with Tekno came about, driving the GRM ‘Thunder’ Ute, plus how a Queensland-resident New Zealander became a fan of the Western Bulldogs AFL team!

Listen to the episode in the players below!

Will Dale began his media career as a breakfast radio newsreader before joining SPEED TV Australia and FOX SPORTS Australia in 2012 as its Digital Editorial Lead - Motorsport for the next six years, covering all forms of motorsport both in Australia and internationally. He became part of the V8 Sleuth team in 2018.