Simon Pagenaud would like another opportunity at Le Mans

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Winning a title in IndyCar hasn’t stopped Simon Pagenaud from wanting to return to Circuit de la Sarthe to finally get his first win in the worlds greatest endurance race.

Speaking to the media yesterday at Martinsville Speedway, the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Chevrolet in the Verizon IndyCar Series and 2016 IndyCar champion was asked if he had any desire to return to and compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans again one day.

“Yes, definitely,” Pagenaud said. “It definitely haunts me every morning when I wake up. I finished second. Evidently, it was the closest margin in history. So I got unfinished business there for sure.”


American Muscle

The French native was driving the No. 9 Team Peugeot Total 908 on the final stint when it finished second overall to the No. 2 Audi Sport R18 (driven by Andre Lotterer) in the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans. He finished a mere 14 seconds, 13.854 to be exact, behind Lotterer in what was the fourth closest finish in the history of Le Mans.

It was Audi’s eighth win in 12 years in the twice around the clock race through the French countryside. They would go on to win the next three years in their reign of dominance of the event. This was a point that Pagenaud brought up in his availability.

“The difficulty is you’ve got to be in a proper factory program like I was with Peugeot or Audi, for example, or Porsche to have a chance to win,” he said. “It’s such a difficult race with so many different factors in play. You need to be really well prepared and to do that, you need to be in a factory team.”

He also added that his attention at this time is on IndyCar and Team Penske.

“So right now with my priority being on IndyCar with Team Penske, it’s out of the question for now,” he added. “But hopefully someday, there will be an opportunity and I’ll definitely come back.”


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My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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