Penske leaves Supercars, McLaughlin full time in IndyCar in 2021

Team Penske has announced it will not return to Supercars in 2021, and that Scott McLaughlin will become a full-time IndyCar driver next year.

Penske leaves Supercars, McLaughlin full time in IndyCar in 2021

The team’s departure from Supercars has been expected for much of the year, and concludes a successful six-year run after joining forces with Dick Johnson Racing to form DJR Team Penske (DJRTP).

The team has earned 56 wins – including the 2019 Bathurst 1000 – 62 poles and six championships, including three consecutive driver’s titles with Scott McLaughlin. Fabian Coulthard produced the team’s first pole position in 2016 and its first race win in 2017.  

According to an official team statement, Team Penske will “assist team co-owners Dick Johnson and Ryan Story with the transition as they prepare for the 2021 Supercars season.” 

Team Penske also confirmed what has become an open secret that its three-time winner McLaughlin is transitioning to the NTT IndyCar Series full time for 2021. McLaughlin will join Team Penske’s trio of series champions Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud to form a four-car team.

The 27-year-old New Zealander will make his IndyCar race debut this Sunday in the 2020 season finale at Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

“We have enjoyed an incredible six seasons competing in the Supercars series with DJR Team Penske,” said Roger Penske. “Partnering with Dick Johnson and Ryan Story to form DJR Team Penske was an incredible experience that produced success on the track and in the boardroom.

“We have built so many lasting partnerships and friendships, and competing in Supercars has certainly helped strengthen our brand and our business in Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, with the challenges we have faced in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to readjust our business initiatives for 2021 and beyond.

“We want to thank Dick Johnson, Ryan Story, Fabian Coulthard and all of our team members for their hard work and dedication as we reestablished a championship organization together over the last six years.

“I know that Dick, Ryan and the team will continue to build on that success moving forward.”

 Johnson commented: “I want to thank Roger and the entire Penske organization for all they’ve done for our team over the last six years,” said Johnson. “While we hate to see them go, we understand the tough business decisions that have to be made.

“We’ve worked together over the last six years to build a team that has become the benchmark for performance both on and off the track. With the assistance of Roger and Team Penske we will be in position to build on that success.

“With the full support of Ford Australia, Ford Performance, Shell V-Power and all of our great partners, our team will continue to be a leader in Supercars racing.”

“I’m so excited for the opportunity to take the next step in my career and compete against some of the best drivers in the world in the IndyCar Series,” added McLaughlin.

“The last four years racing for DJR Team Penske has been amazing. I want to thank every single person on the team, and everyone that has helped me reach this point in my career. I wouldn’t be in position to continue to chase my dream without the hard work of so many people along the way.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of joining one of the most iconic motorsports programs of all time – Team Penske’s IndyCar team. I wish the 2021 season would begin tomorrow.”

Will Davison and Anton de Pasquale have been linked to DJR rides for 2021, while a question mark hangs over Coulthard’s future.

shares
comments
IndyCar's GP of St. Petersburg preview – schedule, facts

Previous article

IndyCar's GP of St. Petersburg preview – schedule, facts

Next article

Sato confirmed at Rahal Letterman Lanigan for 2021

Sato confirmed at Rahal Letterman Lanigan for 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series Supercars , IndyCar
Drivers Scott McLaughlin
Teams Team Penske , Dick Johnson Racing
Author David Malsher-Lopez
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020
Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester" Prime

Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester"

Scott McLaughlin has been a controversial figure in Supercars over the past few years but, as he heads off to a fresh challenge in IndyCar, the Australian tin-top series needs to find someone else to fill his drama-filled boots as the category enters a new era...

Supercars
Nov 3, 2020
Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title Prime

Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title

Scott McLaughlin was quick to describe his third Supercars title as his best yet. But even though it didn't match the dramatic backstory of his 2018 triumph, there's a good reason for him wanting to control the narrative this time around.

Supercars
Oct 2, 2020
Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars Prime

Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars

The Bathurst Grand Final may provide Supercars its greatest spectacle yet – but there's a risk it will force the series to face a hard truth.

Supercars
Sep 4, 2020
Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver Prime

Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver

Scott McLaughlin, two-time and current Supercars champion, should have been making his NTT IndyCar Series debut for Team Penske at the GP of Indianapolis, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced a rescheduling that has put the brakes on his career switch. But David Malsher-Lopez explains why the New Zealander deserves this opportunity as soon as possible.

IndyCar
Jul 4, 2020
Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney Prime

Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney

When the Supercars season resumes James Courtney will be a Tickford Racing driver – but it's not the first time the star driver has flirted with the famous Ford squad.

Supercars
May 19, 2020