Supercars 2019: Kiwi champion Scott McLaughlin braced for slow start to season

Scott McLaughlin and his  new Ford Mustang
Scott McLaughlin and his new Ford Mustang. Photo credit: AAP

DJR Team Penske are pleading for patience from fans, before testing and the Supercars season opener at Adelaide later this month, where they'll debut their Ford Mustang.

The two-door coupe was unveiled to much fanfare and mixed reviews on Monday in Melbourne.

That much was inevitable, after the demise of the much-loved Falcon, which Kiwi Scott McLaughlin steered to victory last season.

Team Penske are confident of holding off powerhouses Red Bull Holden Racing Team for more silverware in 2019, but not in Adelaide.

The season-opening event at the end of February will see the Mustang's debut, and there's a gulf between what McLaughlin wants to achieve and what might be possible.

"It's definitely going to take a little bit of time to get our head around a few things," he said. "Hopefully, we can get to the front sooner rather than later.

"But we've got to be realistic about a few things, just work hard behind the scenes and make sure we're on top of it. We go there making the best of the situation we have."

Many eyes will be on testing later this week on Phillip Island, when McLaughlin and fellow Kiwi Fabian Coulthard will put their cars through their paces under close-to-race conditions for the first time.

Team director Ryan Story agreed that a race win for either driver might be a bridge too far in the early stages of the season.

"I'd never rule it out, but you have to be realistic in terms of where we are and what we're up against," he said.

"It's a new car. It's a two-door car going from a four-door shape, so we have realistic expectations heading into Adelaide.

"There's a culture of winning in our organisation. We have to work really hard to do that.

"Over the balance of the year, we hope to be winning and we hope to be successful."

AAP