McLaughlin wants New Zealand Grand Prix start

IndyCar Rookie of the Year Scott McLaughlin has a New Zealand Grand Prix start on his bucket list.

McLaughlin wants New Zealand Grand Prix start

The Kiwi have revealed that he plans to one day make a start in his home grand prix, a long-standing, prestigious race that has taken place outside of the world championship since the 1950s.

The race has been contested in a range of hardware from Formula 1 through Formula 5000, Formula Pacific and even Formula Ford, with a list of winners that includes Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss, Bruce McLaren, Keke Rosberg, Lando Norris and, most recently, Shane van Gisbergen.

Now part of the Toyota Racing Series season, van Gisbergen won an all-Kiwi NZGP earlier this year as organisers called on local stars to make up for international drivers that couldn't travel through NZ's closed borders.

McLaughlin revealed that he too considered trying to get back to NZ for the 2021 grand prix but was thwarted by the border restrictions, similar to his decision not to race in the Bathurst 1000 later this year.

However the NZGP is still very much on his bucket list and a start could come in the next few years once travel complications clear and he's better established himself in IndyCar.

"I'd love to race in the New Zealand Grand Prix," said McLaughlin.

"I was talking about potentially doing it [this] year, but the same sort of thing [to Bathurst] happened with where I was, and what we had to do with COVID.

"But certainly I could see myself potentially doing what Shane did last year, I thought that was really cool. And to be able to grow that race, I think it's such a special race for New Zealand.

"I've just got to keep my focus [in the US] before I drift off too many places."

McLaughlin added that his desire to race in the GP is driven by the fact that, due to the pandemic, he missed out on one last opportunity to race on home soil during his final Supercars season.

The Australian category traditionally holds a race across the Tasman, but was unable to make the trip in 2020 due to the border issues.

NZ missed out on a Supercars round this year too, but is expected to re-join the schedule in 2022.

"I never got to finish how I wanted in New Zealand," he said. "I finished in 2019 and then 2020 was a bit of a fold, so I'd love to race at home again.

"My nana can't travel and she'd love to watch me race again live. I'll race anything down under. I'll race a go-kart race or whatever. If I can get home I'd love to do that.

"Actually me and my old man are building some of my old go-karts back up. We've got all the parts. When I go home to New Zealand that's the first thing we're doing, we're going to take them out to the track and run them all in. That's pretty exciting."

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