Scott McLaughlin chose the perfect time to impress, leading a Kiwi shut-out after practice for the V8 Supercars Championship stop at Phillip Island today.
McLaughlin was fastest in practice ahead of compatriots Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen, going under the track record in the process.
McLaughlin shaved two-tenths off Mark Winterbottom’s previous benchmark set three years ago with a 1:30.39 lap to be well clear of the field.
“I’m stoked but it is early days yet … I wish it was qualifying,” said McLaughlin.
The young Kiwi star has been the centre of chat off the track, coming off contract at the end of the year with Volvo yet to confirm it will remain in the championship.
The 22 year old said he will wait on a decision from Volvo before making a decision about his future.
He has been linked to Holden Racing Team and also to an expanded Team Penske where fellow Kiwi Coulthard is the No 1 driver.
Coulthard said the gap between McLaughlin and the field can be made up.
“This is one of these tracks where if the conditions are right and you get it right, the margins can be massive because it’s got a big flow on effect,” he said.
There is further practice, qualifying and 27 lap first race tomorrow with a further qualifying session and 45 lap race on Sunday, all on hard tyres, on the abrasive and exciting coastal circuit off the southern coast near Melbourne.