The Frenchman comes to Team Sahlen with a full breadth of Endurance Racing Experiences from around the world. Simon contested the American LeMans series within the LMP2/Lmp1/ lmp Class for three seasons with DeFerran Motorsports then Highcroft racing capturing 9 victories. The capstone being the 2010 Driver’s Championship. Additionally Simon drove for the Factory Peugeot Team in the LMP1 class. His time within the LMP1 class resulted in 2 Spa 1000km overall victories, the 2010 Overall Pole Position at LeMans, and a 2nd in the 24h of Le Mans marking the closest finish in the Le Mans history.
In addition to his wealth of Endurance experience, Pagenaud is an accomplished Open Wheel Racer. In a glimpse of what was to come, in 2006 Simon was the Formula Atlantic Champion in his Rookie Campaign. In 2012, he added to his Open Wheel CV by contesting the full IndyCar circuit with Sam Schmidt Motorsports. At the end of the season, Simon was placed an amazing 5th place in the Driver’s Championship. This statistic is all the more astonishing when it is revealed that it was Simon’s 1st full season in the IndyCar series. This fact earned Simon the 2012 IndyCar Rookie of the Year.
Simon shared his thoughts on this adventure – “I am delighted to join Team Sahlen for their and my 1st Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in the Daytona Prototype! I have had great opportunities in endurance racing in Le Mans 24 and the ALMS! Team Sahlen is showing great promises and we will face together a fantastic challenge! It is a proven team in the GT classes and I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to compete in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona for the 1st time! Dane is a great talent who I watched in Star Mazda, and I am looking forward to start working with Wayne and the whole team!. I will do my best to bring my A game and help the team complete their goals!"
Added Team Sahlen’s Sporting Director, Will Nonnamaker – “We have been watching Simon Pagenaud for several years, which has included a unique career path going from open wheel to endurance racing and back to open wheel. We are excited to be bringing him back to endurance racing with the hope of even more success. He is obviously a driver whom gets the maximum out of the car. By adding Simon to an already strong line-up of Wayne Nonnamaker and Dane Cameron, we should be well positioned to battle at the front of the very competitive of the ROLEX 24 Hours at Daytona on our 1st ever race in the Daytona Prototype Class"