Golding ready to replace McLaughlin

James Golding says he feels that he will be ready to make the step up to the Supercars main series at the end of the season should Garry Rogers Motorsport choose him to replace Scott McLaughlin.

Golding ready to replace McLaughlin
James Golding, Garry Rogers Motorsport
James Golding, Garry Rogers Motorsport
Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Winner Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Winner Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo

Golding, 20, is currently GRM’s lead driver in the second-tier Dunlop Series, as well as being an apprentice mechanic employed by the team for its main series programme.

But he could be facing a heck of a promotion for the 2017 season; with Scott McLaughlin on his way to DJR Team Penske, Golding is one of the top contenders to slot in alongside James Moffat in the main series next season.

Not only is Golding enjoying a breakthrough year in the Dunlop Series, having taken at least one podium from each of the three rounds so far this season, but his promotion would also be in-line with GRM’s long-standing commitment to young talent, which has seen the likes of Garth Tander, Jamie Whincup, and McLaughlin be given their big breaks in the sport.

While stressing that he’s not getting ahead of himself, Golding admits that the McLaughlin move could open something up for him. And if it does, he’s ready to jump at the opportunity.

“It opens up a potential opportunity – but I can’t get too ahead of myself,” he told Motorsport.com.

“I’ve just got to concentrate on what I’m doing now, and the do the best job I can so that maybe there is there is a possibility to get into that seat for next year.

“Some of the things we’ve been working on for this year, things like consistency, I’ve really improved. We’ve worked really hard on that, and so far I’ve had some really great results, like being on the podium at every round.

“Like I said, I can’t get too ahead of myself… but if I did get the opportunity, I’d give it 110 per cent. That’s all I can do. I think I’d be capable of doing it.

“At the end of this year, for me to do another year of the Development Series wouldn’t be ideal. I think at the point that I’m at, I need to move up and I need more challenges.

“I think I’d definitely be ready to take the step.”

No extra pressure on enduros

Golding is set to make his main series debut later this year, having already been announced as one of the team’s endurance drivers for Sandown, Bathurst, and the Gold Coast events.

But he says being in contention for a full-time seat won’t put any additional pressure on him heading into those three races. According to Golding, the focus will be on doing a nice, clean job, particularly as he’ll be on double duties with the Dunlop Series at two of the rounds.

“I’ve got to do the best job I can do. And to me, a big part of the co-driver’s job is to bring the car back straight,” he added.

“You need to do a solid job without making mistakes. Being the quickest guy out there isn’t that important if you’re taking a lot of risks to do it.

“I’ll be concentrating on the Development Series as well, because I’ll be doing both at Sandown and Bathurst. So I’ll be looking to not make mistakes in either series, because there will be a bit of jumping around from the Holden to the Volvo.

“There’s a lot of hype around it, but I’ll just be doing the best I can. If I can keep the car straight, I think Garry will be happy enough with that.”

Support for McLaughlin’s move

While it may be a major blow for the Volvo squad, Golding added that he can understand the decision that McLaughlin has made, particularly on a personal level.

“There had been a few rumours going around the past couple of months, but without getting too involved in it we have just focussed on doing our jobs the best we can,” he said.

“Now it’s come out, it’s exciting for Scott. I’ve been friends with him for quite a while now, and I’m sure he’s made the right decision. He’s got to keep going on with his career, and that’s all part of it.”

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