McLaughlin is on the tools for friend Kel Treseder, one of the series' front-runners, who he has known since their karting days.
The Shell V-Power Racing star has spent the day performing various tasks on the KKP Motorsport entry ahead of a function for sponsor Pirtek, after which he will return to the circuit tomorrow.
“My fiancé's (Karly) in LA and I thought, ‘Well I'm going to come down here and help Kel,'” McLaughlin told Speedcafe.com.
“It so happens that tonight I've got a Pirtek conference that I've got to do, so I'll just go do that and come back tomorrow and spanner again.
“It's a free weekend, I haven't got much on, and Kel's always racing at my events so I watch his races when I can but it's always very busy.
“For me it's just nice to have a look and do some work. I used to work on his kart back in the day, sort of worked on his stuff for a while, and we're just best mates; it's good fun.
McLaughlin's role is not just mechanical, but also coaching role for the former Australian champion karter.
“(I'm doing) Bits and bobs. I look after all the cameras, the tyre pressures, radio… all the bits and pieces,” he explained.
“In some ways I guess I'm a bit of a driver helper because I try and extract a bit more feedback out of him. I think he struggles just to describe the car as much.
“He's a great driver in his own right but it's just another driver's opinion and for him it's quite an important weekend for the championship so he needs to be on the ball.”
Treseder won Race 1 of the weekend from pole position after a battle with Justin Ruggier.