Off the back of his third championship win in 2020, the record-setting Supercars driver shipped off from Australia to the United States to pursue an IndyCar career.
So far, it’s been a prosperous season-and-a-half with Team Penske.
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On his oval racing debut, McLaughlin finished runner-up to countryman Scott Dixon at Texas Motor Speedway.
The touring car ace won his first IndyCar race on the streets of St Petersburg this year and went on to win again in front of his parents at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
McLaughlin has said in the past that if he has success, then that might open the door for Supercars’ best to make a similar move across the Pacific.
Van Gisbergen, he thinks, would go well in the single-seater series.
“I just think he’s a shoe,” said McLaughlin.
“He drives anything very well. I think it would be pretty cool for him to just try IndyCar.
“Yeah, he’s a bigger dude, but I think he would be fine. We see Graham Rahal is about the same size as him.
“I think it would be a really cool thing for him to do and I’d fully support it if he got in, that’s for sure.”
The two-time Supercars champion has had success in GT racing and rallying but has also dipped his toes in drifting and speedway.
The 2019 Bathurst 1000 winner noted van Gisbergen’s ability to be competitive no matter the discipline.
But would McLaughlin help tee up an IndyCar test for his countryman? He chuckled, “No, he can figure that out himself.”
McLaughlin and van Gisbergen enjoyed eight years of Supercars competition against each other, several of those as title adversaries.
The Triple Eight Race Engineering driver was twice runner-up to his DJR Team Penske rival across 2018 and 2019.
McLaughlin won three in a row, leaving the series at the end of 2020 with his last title in the bag.
Now, McLaughlin is making a name for himself in the United States as a bonafide contender for the IndyCar crown.
The IndyCar Series continues on August 8 with the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville.
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