PREPARING for our Volvo episode of the V8 Sleuth Podcast reminded us of many of the light-hearted moments from the Swedish marque’s three-year stint in V8 Supercars.
There was their very first race, where Garry Rogers and a trio of associates dressed up as the members of ABBA to welcome the S60 to the grid.
Then there was their first Bathurst 1000 where the Garry Rogers Motorsport crew wheeled a sauna onto the grid, opening the doors to reveal Rogers inside wearing a towel and a smile.
But among the many high-profile moments was one we’d forgotten about: the time Scott McLaughlin asked for a score update from the MCG during a race.
Listen to the Volvo episode of the V8 Sleuth Podcast in the player below!
To be fair to McLaughlin, it wasn’t just any game he was trying to follow.
The Sunday race of the 2015 Tasmania SuperSprint happened to fall on the same day as the final of the Cricket World Cup, and play between Australia and New Zealand got underway mid-way through the 84-lap race.
After starting 11th, McLaughlin was running in sixth place with 20 laps to go when his thoughts turned to how the Black Caps were doing on the other end of Bass Strait.
Having acknowledged a message from race engineer Richard Hollway, McLaughlin keyed the team radio and asked: “When you can, give me a score from the cricket, would ya? Let me know how they’re goin’?”
McLaughlin certainly wasn’t the first – and probably won’t be the last – driver to have the capacity to think about the scoreline of another sporting contest while being actively involved in one themselves.
The Sandown 500’s traditional mid-September date meant it regularly clashed with VFL/AFL finals fixtures; it wasn’t unusual for Peter Brock to receive score updates on the Holden Dealer Team pit board when his beloved Collingwood were in action while he was out on the track.
However, McLaughlin had to wait until the end of the race to find out how the Kiwis were going.
“Mate, focus on the job,” was Hollway’s reply.
It was probably for the best that McLaughlin didn’t learn the state of play in the World Cup at that time.
The toss was about the only thing that went New Zealand’s way that day.
At the time of McLaughlin’s query, his fellow Kiwis were 1/23 having lost captain Brendon McCullum for a duck in just the fifth ball of the game.
Things didn’t get much better. New Zealand were all out for just 183, and Australia took just over 33 overs to run down the target.
The Supercars race had finished in time for McLaughlin to catch the Kiwi’s capitulation, the #33 Volvo having taken the chequered flag in seventh after a late pass from a recovering Craig Lowndes.