Scott McLaughlin may be a jandal-wearing Kiwi at heart, but Queenslanders will be quick to claim him as one of their own – especially if he takes out the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
Scott McLaughlin raced by to tell Lifestyle Queensland about his 2018 season, his recent move to Queensland and his impending nuptials with fiancé, Karly.
After suffering a heartbreaking end to his 2017 Supercars title bid, Scott McLaughlin has reflected on last year’s mistakes and is in better form than ever before. Without wanting to jinx things, the 25 year old believes he has a real chance to win his first ever Supercars Championship, and recognises the winner will be the one who “has made the least mistakes all year”. “I definitely think it’s the best chance I’ve had in my career so far,” McLaughlin said. “In 2017, we weren’t as consistent and had some really bad results. “This year, we’ve minimised the problems, but when things do go wrong we’re approaching it different, being a lot smarter and getting the best finish possible and banking lots of points.”
Whilst there’s healthy rivalry between McLaughlin and Red Bull Holden’s Jamie Whincup, one person McLaughlin feels he doesn’t need to compete with for the Championship is teammate Fabian Coulthard. Ten years his senior, Coulthard’s experience in the Supercars game has been influential to McLaughlin. “He’s become a mate, and we chat away from the track as well.. the relationship is strong, and we work together as a team very well,” McLaughlin said. “We’re always stoked whenever there is success on either side of the garage.
“In our team we have a saying that when we win, the team wins.
“So it doesn’t matter if its Fabian or me taking the victory, we’re always there to congratulate one another and enjoy the success.”
Perhaps McLaughlin’s refreshed attitude on the track can also be accredited to his life outside of his No. 17 Ford FG X Falcon. Becoming engaged in New York to American partner Karly Paone and relocating to sunny Queensland has had a positive effect on the New Zealand native. “Having come up from Melbourne, it’s made such a difference to how we go about our day to day lives,” McLaughlin said. “We love taking our dog Chase for a walk along the river.” As for when we can expect McLaughlin to wed? “We’ve been planning the wedding for a few months. We’re going to get married at the end of next year, in the US.
“Karly is from New York, so we decided that we’ll have the wedding over there, and then have a party here when we come back.”
McLaughlin is no stranger to Ipswich and loves to race at Queensland Raceway. Whilst the keen golfer hasn’t had a chance to have a swing at Sandy Gallop, the close proximity of Brisbane living means he’s keen for a few day trips out this way.
“Now that I live in Brisbane I’ll have to take a look at some of the golf courses out that way and make a trip!” he joked.
“Seriously, I love the Ipswich fans. “It’s a real grass roots event, and we’re racing in one of the proper heartland areas of our sport. Also, driving for famous Queenslander Dick Johnson in the iconic No.17 definitely helps when you’re racing in front of a big Queensland crowd!”
You can see Scott, Fabian and all your other V8 favourites race at the 2018 Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint on July 20th – 22nd by purchasing tickets at www.supercars.com/ipswich/tickets/.