McLaughlin’s gift to Dick Johnson

The Kiwi will swap his traditional yellow helmet design for blue next weekend to celebrate four decades of Dick Johnson Racing.

The colour is a nod to Johnson’s famous Tru-Blu Falcon, with artwork featuring the car itself, trophies to celebrated the team’s titles and Bathurst crowns, and the famous #17 number plate.

“It’s a massive tribute to DJ and what he has built as a team,” McLaughlin told the official Supercars website.

“My helmets are traditionally pretty yellow so it’s completely different to what we’ve had.

“It’s based completely off DJ and that car, it’s so famous in Australian history really. At the end of the race I’m going to sign it and give it to DJ as a bit of a gift for the 40-year anniversary.

“I take a lot of privilege in driving the #17 and I think he loves me driving it.

“It’s been a lot of fun. It’s cool, just something to thank him for the opportunity and to carry on.”

McLaughlin joined what’s now known as DJR Team Penske for the 2017 season, and has added three titles to the squad’s total haul of 10.

He’s also contributed a Bathurst 1000 victory after winning last year’s Great Race alongside Alex Premat.

Whether McLaughlin will be a DJRTP driver beyond this season, however, is not yet confirmed, with speculation rife that a full-time IndyCar switch beckons.

He’ll make his debut in the US series in St. Pete just a week after Bathurst.

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