The outfit, which gained this 12 months’s Indianapolis 500 with Helio Castroneves, introduced three weeks in the past that the Brazilian veteran will race the #06 entry full-time in 2022.
On the similar time, it was revealed that the crew’s present full-timer, Jack Harvey, can be leaving, a choice taken of his personal volition.
With crew house owners Jim Meyer and Shank having determined that 2022 can be the 12 months to change to 2 full-time entries, that left a pretty experience obtainable.
Autosport understands Pagenaud will depart Group Penske at season’s finish, after seven years wherein he accrued a complete of 11 wins – together with the 2019 Indianapolis 500 – in addition to the 2016 championship and two runner-up finishes.
Nonetheless, whereas two inside sources declare his cope with Meyer Shank Racing is completed, Shank insists that’s not so.
He advised Autosport: “That’s what I heard over the weekend, too – that we’ve signed Simon – nevertheless it’s not true. In fact, he’s definitely on our checklist, nevertheless it’s simply not there but.”
Requested if Pagenaud was on the head of that checklist, Shank replied: “He’s within the prime 5 individuals we’re speaking to, no query about it.”
Simon Pagenaud, Group Penske Chevrolet
Picture by: Chris Jones
Since Penske introduced its LMDh collaboration with Porsche in IMSA and the World Endurance Championship, there have been rumours that the legendary squad will scale back its IndyCar operation to a few automobiles for 2022 because it seeks to realign assets.
With Josef Newgarden, Will Energy and Scott McLaughlin holding multi-year contracts, and Roger Penske confirming in June that Pagenaud had not but been re-hired, that recommended he could be decreased to an Indy 500-only function in IndyCar however being one of many principal growth drivers of the Porsche prototype.
Nonetheless, Harvey’s impending departure from Meyer Shank opens the door to the potential for Pagenaud gaining a full-time IndyCar experience and cherry-picking the highest sportscar alternatives.
“I actually can’t speak about 2022 but,” Pagenaud advised Autosport. “It’s about contracts, and there’s confidentiality agreements, so if I used to be to expose something I could possibly be in deep trouble.
“And truthfully, nothing is about. It’s nonetheless solely early August, so I’m in ongoing discussions with Penske. I can’t clarify these discussions, I can’t discuss in regards to the state of affairs.
“I’m simply making an attempt to complete this season off as sturdy as I can do. That’s my major focus in the intervening time.”
Penske refused to be drawn on the hypothesis surrounding Pagenaud and slimming down its IndyCar entry.
Group president Tim Cindric advised Autosport: “We haven’t finalised our 2022 plans and possibly gained’t till a while after the season is over.”