Car changes won’t faze Supercars leader
FORD star Scott McLaughlin says he has a "fire in the belly" to show the Mustang won't be wounded by new Supercars orders and ensure its rampaging start to the season continues.
After racing to victory in the opening six races, the Mustang - and its rival the Commodore - have had to make centre-of-gravity changes ahead of this weekend's round at Symmons Plains in Tasmania.
Supercars ordered testing on the new Mustang, the Commodore and Nissan Altima after the last round at Albert Park in response to the Ford machine's unbeaten start to the season.
Testing analysis showed the Mustang and - it's believed to a lesser extent - the Commodore had a centre-of-gravity advantage over the Altima.
Ford and Holden teams were instructed to reposition ballast to raise the centre of gravity in their cars to maintain technical parity.
McLaughlin could not predict what impact the changes would make until he hit the track for practice on Friday, but the DJR Team Penske star said he was fired up to make sure the Mustang stayed at the front of the pack.
"It's hard to say the impact until we really get onto the track tomorrow,'' McLaughlin said.
"But none of this stuff - whatever they do - it doesn't affect the job that I do … I have just got to go out there and drive the absolute hardest with what I've got.
"It obviously puts a bit of fire in your belly … and the team is pumped up.
"We've got a plan this weekend and hopefully when we roll the car out on track it's fast."
McLaughlin has won five of the first six races this season and holds a 31-point lead over Triple Eight rival Jamie Whincup in the Supercars championship.
The defending champion said he understood Supercars decision to investigate the centre of gravity, but questioned why it hadn't been done to other cars in the past.
"When shoes are on the other foot, everything is a lot different,'' McLaughlin said.
"I understand the category looking into it. But also at the same time … last year the same thing could have happened, but nothing was done. It's interesting."
McLaughlin heads to Tasmania hoping to fill a hole in his Supercars record, having not yet won a race at Symmons Plains.
"I haven't had a huge amount of success here, never won here, so I would really like to try and get a win,'' McLaughlin said.
"It's a tight track and big twisty hairpin at the bottom, it's going to be tight in qualifying that's what we always say. If you stuff up a lap, you are down the back."
"For a start to the season, everything is pretty good at the moment, we are leading the championship and started really strongly, which I haven't done in the past few years.