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McLaughlin up for speedy Tasmanian test

NZN 6/04/2017 Ben McKay

Scott McLaughlin has predicted the end to one of Supercars longest-standing track records this weekend.

The arrival of the SuperSoft tyres at Symmons Plains is likely to put an end to Rick Kelly's eight-year benchmark lap of 51.47 seconds at the short Tasmanian circuit.

But whether it will be New Zealand driver McLaughlin or another driver pushing the new record towards mark is anyone's guess.

The first championship round since the season-opening Clipsal 500 is one of the most anticipated meets of recent times.

It's because for the first time in a long time, the ultra-dominant Red Bull Holdens have some competition.

Roland Dane's team have won the last seven teams championships but the talk of the paddock is DJR Team Penske.

McLaughlin and his Penske teammate, fellow-Kiwi Fabian Coulthard, each scored a podium in Adelaide and took home a 1-2 result at the non-point scoring round at the Australian Grand Prix.

So are they the real deal or just the latest pretender?

McLaughlin said the hype behind their team was just that until they proved it on the racetrack.

"Everybody wants to see a challenger," he said.

"They've been at the top of the game for 10-plus years and we're only new.

"They're a bloody good team and we've got a long mountain to climb to get where they are.

"But they know we're coming. They know we're there. And that's a special feeling. We'll do our talking on the track and see how we go."

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