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Pagenaud needs to be again at Le Mans “yearly” after 12-year absence

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The 2016 IndyCar champion and 2019 Indy 500 winner with Team Penske kinds a part of Cool Racing’s roster within the LMP2 ORECA-Gibson 07 over a decade after his final Le Mans look when he completed second with Peugeot in 2011. 

The Meyer Shank Racing IndyCar driver has often competed in sportscars within the meantime nevertheless, ending second within the Daytona 24 Hours with an Motion Specific Cadillac in 2021 earlier than profitable every of the final two editions with MSR Acuras.

Pagenaud comes into the Cool lineup alongside European Le Mans Sequence workforce regulars Reshad de Gerus and Vladislav Lomko to exchange Jose Maria Lopez, who’s contesting Le Mans for Toyota.

When requested by Autosport if he’d be looking forward to extra Le Mans appearances in future, Pagenaud mentioned: “I need to be again yearly, I’ve been eager to be again yearly.

“I’ve had points with schedule conflicts with IndyCar schedule. Now that Roger Penske owns IndyCar, I believe it’s going to be loads simpler since he has a workforce within the [World Endurance Championship] collection right here.

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“I hope the schedule stays open and I would like to have the ability to come again.

“Clearly my purpose is to return again and attempt to be in a state of affairs to compete for the win.”

Pagenaud made his Le Mans debut in 2008 with an ORECA-Braveness earlier than forming a part of Peugeot’s lineup in every of the following three seasons previous to its withdrawal.

The American Le Mans Sequence champion revealed there had been “a variety of talks” within the years since his final look however had not come to fruition.

#47 Cool Racing Oreca 07 – Gibson of Reshad De Gerus, Vladislav Lomko, Simon Pagenaud

Photograph by: Rainier Ehrhardt

“With many alternative producers, groups and there was unimaginable curiosity which I really feel very grateful for,” he mentioned.

“One of many issues that has modified since I used to be right here again in 2011 is you would simply do a one-off again in these days as a result of the WEC collection wasn’t but fashioned, so that you didn’t should do the complete season.

“Now, the drivers within the lineup, they’ve full-season drivers and if you wish to do a one-off, there are not any seats.

“So this chance was excellent as a result of it was an invite. And I’m going to discover a method to make it work sooner or later.”

Pagenaud revealed that his take care of Cool workforce co-owner Nicolas Lapierre was concluded quickly over the Daytona 24 Hour weekend in January.

“Truthfully this did occur in a short time,” he defined.

“I mainly noticed [Lapierre] in Daytona, I mentioned ‘hey Nico, I heard you may need an invite for Le Mans, I need to do Le Mans huge time’ and he mentioned, ‘okay, let’s speak tomorrow’.

“And the following day the factor was completed, so it went fairly fast. When issues are supposed to occur, they occur in a short time normally.”

Having missed Sunday’s Check Day whereas contesting IndyCar’s Detroit spherical, Pagenaud accomplished his first monitor operating in Wednesday’s opening apply session.

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