Kiwi Supercars star Scott McLaughlin saw an opportunity over the Christmas break and committed to it – just like he would on the race track.
McLaughlin recently got engaged to his American partner Karly Paone and is already thinking about a future together.
"It was a pretty cool thing – me and Karly have been together a year and bit now," McLaughlin told The Herald. "It was one of those deals where I wanted lock her down – lock the good one down," he laughed.
"We managed to get it done at her home in New York, which was pretty special. Her being American, being home for Christmas with family, it made sense to do it."
The 24-year-old said they haven't set a date for the wedding yet.
"We are just enjoying it so far," he said. "A couple of years I think. We are pretty cruisy and just enjoying it as we go. We don't want to go too crazy. Obviously we are still fairly young so it is a case of enjoying it as much as we can.
His relationship serves as another link to the United States for McLaughlin and it would seem inevitable that he will end up spending some time racing there during his career.
He has openly expressed a love of NASCAR and an interest in competing in the series in the future. He then joined DJR Team Penske – Penske being one of the biggest names in US motorsport with leading teams in both NASCAR and Indycar racing. Now McLaughlin is set to marry an American.
"Certainly her being American is ironic," McLaughlin said. "I am a Supercars driver and I will focus on that for now but it certainly opens up my opportunities whether I do go over there for racing or not. In the future, for our kids, it is pretty ideal."
His time away and engagement over the Christmas break has served as the ideal way to move on from what was a hectic and emotional 2017.
McLaughlin was cruelly robbed of a maiden Supercars Championship in dramatic fashion on the final lap of the last race of the year. Instead of celebrating a remarkable year he had to watch Red Bull Holden Racing's Jamie Whincup win a seventh title.
"I was glad New Year's Even happened and we could just move on," McLaughlin said.
"It was a tough gig – it would be tough for anyone – but we were very proud to be in the position we were to fight for a championship. Not many people get to do that and it was a very cool thing to be part of that as a squad."
McLaughlin said that disappointment hasn't changed his approach to 2018.
"I wouldn't say I am more determined. At the end of the day I am excited for it. I have come in with a bit more of a focus knowing I can do it.
"Last year it all happened pretty quickly. We were fighting for a championship and were there or thereabouts and we didn't expect that in our fight year. We exceeded expectations but we know this year we have the goods to do it and we will certainly give it our best shot."
The season gets underway in March.
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