Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin has praised the motorsport community in its response to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced a halt to the 2020 season.
McLaughlin opened his title defence with a win on the streets of Adelaide in February, but may not be able to resume his battle with his rivals on track until at least June with three events postponed.
In response to the layoff, Supercars has organised an online All Stars Eseries, which will feature all 25 championship drivers, with 18 tracks to host 10 events in 10 weeks.
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Away from the track, teams up and down pit lane have put their engineering brains to work, with a number of squads putting weight behind helping the medical response.
Notably, Erebus Motorsport has development a e-box and e-mask ready for distribution, with Team CoolDrive helping with the distribution effort. Triple Eight has also developed a ventilator prototype, which has been endorsed by the Queensland government
Speaking on Fox Sports News, McLaughlin explained his admiration for rival teams and the sport helping where they can.
“It’s the same on-track, when we have a crash and it’s a bad one and the car needs to be fixed, you’d be hard pressed to find one team that doesn’t come down and help you,” the Shell V-Power Racing driver said.
“Everyone comes down and says ‘hey, do you guys want bits, do you want tools’ – not necessarily people, but they help out.
“It’s the same thing here, the world is going through a bit of a pandemic at the moment as we all know and Supercars and those teams have got together with their resources and put it together and that just shows the motorsport spirit.
“I’m very proud to be a part of it all and it looks like it’s a fantastic initiative that they’re helping out with.
“Hopefully it puts our sport, again, in a better light.”
Due to the moving nature of the virus crisis, it’s unclear when – or whether – the 2020 season will resume, and a number of ideas have been raised to help the season restart in a viable manner with teams wary of financial hits.
McLaughlin acknowledged the effects of the pandemic, but conceded there are “bigger issues at hand” than going racing again as soon as possible.
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“As far as I’m concerned, the races have been postponed, not cancelled,” he said.
“We’ve got to readjust when the time comes, the teams will readjust because everyone wants to race.
“We’re all racers, we want to have a crack… it’s a ‘wait-and-see’ thing at the moment, we’ll get the big issues sorted then come out stronger the other side.”
The Kiwi will be a favourite once the Series commences on April 8, with McLaughlin a keen sim racer, particularly on the iRacing platform which Supercars has employed for the online championship.
A recent signing of pro online squad Apex Racing Team, McLaughlin is also competing in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge, and finished fourth in the first race last weekend.
With an eye of providing live content for fans, McLaughlin highlighted the potential of Supercars product to match the major interest generated by the IndyCar race.
“It’s pretty cool, iRacing do a fantastic job, the platform that we’ll race on, at looking after the tyre models and making sure it’s close to what we have,” he said.
“You don’t have that physical exertion of driving a Supercar but it’s very close [to the real thing].
“They did a great job and that’s why I hope all of the Supercars drivers here and the teams get behind this concept, because all of the teams and drivers got behind it in America and it went gangbusters, everyone loved it.
“Hopefully the same effort happens here, which it looks like everyone is into it. It’s going to be an enjoyable race.”