He’s the driver of a highly tuned expensive V8 Supercar but Scott McLaughlin admits his confidence in the reliability of his Volvo S60 is shot.
Like a nervous student hoping their banged-up lemon can make it to their next destination, McLaughlin says he’s sweating on every unexpected noise or smell from his car.
After a golden 2014 when he picked up five race wins in Volvo’s first season in the V8 championship, the New Zealander can’t buy a trick this season.
He appeared to have turned a corner with his first pole position of the season at Townsville only for his car to again break down during the race.
It was McLaughlin’s fifth DNF for the year and, despite an impressive display in Friday’s practice run at Queensland Raceway, the 22-year-old isn’t expecting anything great.
“If it happens, I’ll just keep pushing on with what I’ve got,” he said.
“I tell you what – I’m hearing every noise in the car. Every smell, I think it’s going to do something.
“Just to get a bit of confidence back, hopefully, we can finish all three races and push hard towards Eastern Creek and the enduros.”
Despite his hardships, McLaughlin says there have been positives to take from his difficult year.
“I’ve learnt in some ways, apart from Garry (Rogers, team owner), I’m the team leader for my guys and you’ve got to keep your head up in these tough times,” he said.
“We had plenty of good days last year. The bad days are coming and that’s what happens.
“Unfortunately, we’ve just got to deal with it for now but I’m sure we’ll be back there. I haven’t forgotten how to drive and the boys haven’t forgotten how to set me up with a good car.”