McLaughlin claims 2nd virtual podium after huge crash
SUPERCARS champion Scott McLaughlin has claimed his second virtual racing IndyCar podium finish after recovering from a spectacular start line crash.
In his first virtual race on an oval track, McLaughlin finished second behind winner Simon Pagenaud in the third event of the IndyCar iRacing challenge at the Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.
Showing his virtual racing form to be as strong as in the real world, in which he has claimed back-to-back Supercars crowns, the DJR Team Penske star's result followed his victory in the second race of the series last week at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama and a pair of wins in the Supercars Eseries opener.
McLaughlin was a casualty of carnage behind him before the cars had even reached the virtual start line, but was able to recover through smart strategy to claim a one-two finish for Team Penske.
"The first oval of the year for me in IndyCar, it was pretty fun," McLaughlin said after another early start to race on his simulator at home.
"I got rammed at the start and rolled and it was crazy. Then eventually it became a strategy race after that.
"We started way back in the field and just had to save as much fuel as we could and we managed to save a tonne and then eventually got good on fuel to the end unlike some other people that had to make extra stops.
"It worked out good and we managed to bring the car in P2, so really happy. Obviously put a lot of work in."
McLaughlin had been scheduled to make his real-world IndyCar debut next month for Team Penske in the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis road course, but the event was pushed back to July due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Bathurst champion will defend a 43-point championship lead over Tickford Racing's Cameron Waters in the second round of the Supercars Eseries on Wednesday after winning two of the opening three races in the virtual season opener last week.
The Supercars drivers will tackle the Silverstone and Barcelona circuits in the second round.
Motorsport has turned to virtual racing to fill a content void during the coronavirus shutdown.