The Verizon IndyCar Series has a new champion: 32-year-old Frenchman Simon Pagenaud, of Team Penske.
We’ve seen Pagenaud for five years at IMS, from his Indy 500 debut with Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports through this past May, when he won the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis for a second time. And he’s been a good friend of #SpeedRead, where we’ve talked about his first 500 and even hair and accents.
Here’s a few snapshots:
Indy debut in 2012: Pagenaud was part of an eight-man rookie class (well, seven men and one woman, to be accurate) and finished mid-pack in 16th, with his No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda the last car on the lead lap.
Birthday boy: With a May 18 birthday, Simon’s going to be celebrating at IMS for a while. In his rookie year, team owners Sam Schmidt and Davey Hamilton helped present a cake in Gasoline Alley.
Inaugural GP champ, 2014: Winning the inaugural Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis gave Pagenaud a permanent spot in the record books, and proved to be a key moment in him landing a ride with Team Penske in 2015, which paid off quickly. Read on.
Indy front row, 2015: Driving the No. 22 Team Penske Chevrolet, Pagenaud qualified on the front row for the 99th Indianapolis 500, his best starting spot to date. Penske teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power finished 1-2 while Pagenaud finished 10th.
Another GP win, 2016: This May, the road course ace won for the second time in three years at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, leading 57 of 82 laps from the pole in a dominant effort worthy of congratulations from The Captain himself.