Motorsport: Kiwi Scott McLaughlin to make IndyCar debut at St Petersburg season finale

Two-time defending Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin will make his long-awaited IndyCar debut next month on the streets of St Petersburg, Florida.

McLaughlin was due to race at the Indianapolis Grand Prix in May, but the coronavirus pandemic forced a schedule change and the Kiwi's debut was put on ice. 

Team Penske have announced McLaughlin will compete in the season finale, after confirmation the Supercars season will conclude the week before.

Before the pandemic shutdown, McLaughlin participated in IndyCar pre-season testing at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, where he posted the third-fastest time.

"This is something I haven't stopped thinking about, but I wanted to ensure my focus was on winning our third straight Supercars championship for DJR Team Penske and all our partners in Australia," says McLaughlin.

"We are still laser-focused on that and have three more rounds to get it done, but I'm equally as excited to finally get the chance to make my IndyCar debut.

"I've been doing everything I can to keep up with the series this year, from watching as many races as I can on TV to even talking to the drivers and some of the engineers back at the Team Penske shop.

"I never knew if I would be able to get behind the wheel of one of these cars this year, due to all the COVID-19 restrictions, but I wanted to be ready if it became an opportunity."

McLaughlin holds a 143-point lead over Jamie Whincup in the Supercars title race, with three races remaining this season. 

Earlier this year, McLaughlin won two 'virtual' IndyCar races, contested on simulators during the coronavirus lockdown.