GT News: Strategy Pays Off for Scott McLaughlin with Third-Place Finish at Mid-Ohio

    (July 3, 2023) – In the latest round of the 2023 GT Championship, Scott McLaughlin delivered a strong performance at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, securing a third-place finish through a well-executed strategy.

    Starting sixth in his No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet, the 31-year-old New Zealander quickly moved up to fifth position by passing Marcus Ericsson at the first turn. Opting for a two-stop strategy, McLaughlin chose to stay out two laps longer than his competitors during the first pit cycle, allowing him to maximize his pace and move up to third place before his first stop on lap 30.

    During the second pit cycle, McLaughlin again stayed out at least one lap longer than the rest of the field, pitting on lap 56 and emerging well clear of any battles ahead or behind. This strategy paid dividends, as he ultimately finished third, 16.1558 seconds behind race winner Pato O’Ward and nearly seven seconds ahead of fourth-placed Colton Herta.

    “I’m sick of getting overcut myself, so I was like, ‘stuff it, I’m going to be overcutting’,” said McLaughlin, who is currently eighth in the GT Championship standings. “I think we were the last one to pit, and that’s probably where we led our laps.”

    The third-place finish marks McLaughlin’s second podium in the last three races and his fourth of the season, following a recent third-place result at Road America. However, the New Zealander has also endured some challenging races, including a 21st-place finish at Laguna Seca.

    “It’s been up and down for us, as everyone knows, the last few events,” McLaughlin acknowledged. “Nice to get another solid result and hopefully we can go into Iowa where we know we’ll probably be pretty quick. Just a matter of putting it together over this next little bit to the end of the championship.”

    The successful strategy at Mid-Ohio also provided McLaughlin with valuable learning opportunities regarding the new hybrid integration, which made its race weekend debut at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in Lexington, Ohio.

    “I just lost so much time in that first stint, but ultimately I was just trying to maximize my day in that first stint by saving as much fuel as I could, and I just jumped the guys in the overcut, but then these guys were all the way down the road,” he explained. “It was actually honestly a bit of a testing issue for me. I was trying different things with the hybrid, push-to-pass, all that stuff. It was actually really cool. Learned a lot of things, we got points, and hopefully we can use it later down the track, whether it’s next year or end of the year.”

    With the Mid-Ohio result, McLaughlin will look to build momentum as the GT Championship heads to Iowa, where he believes the team will be “pretty quick.” As the season enters its final stretch, the New Zealander will be aiming to solidify his position in the standings and secure further podium finishes.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source