Pagenaud to be Peugeot reserve
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, March 28th 2009, 12:38 GMT|
Simon Pagenaud has been appointed as Peugeot's official reserve driver for Le Mans, and will also join the team for its one-off Le Mans Series appearance at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Frenchman drives for the De Ferran Motorsports Acura team in the American Le Mans Series, but at present Acura is only racing in America. That leaves Pagenaud free to race for Peugeot while the ALMS pauses for Le Mans, which he contested with ORECA last year.
Peugeot team boss Olivier Quesnel said that Pagenaud could race the satellite Pescarolo Sport Peugeot 908 if the factory team did not require him in the 24 Hours.
"We expect him to be ready for all eventualities and to help us prepare for Le Mans following his participation in last year's race," said Quesnel.
"To make the most of the experience he will have gained once he has driven the 908, we have decided to make Simon available to Pescarolo Sport with a view to driving their Peugeot in the Le Mans 24 Hours."
Pagenaud added: "This is a great opportunity for me. In fact, it's probably one of the best chances I have ever had."
Peugeot is entering its full three-car Le Mans line-up for the Spa LMS race in preparation for the 24 Hours, but Sebastien Bourdais is not available as the event clashes with the Spanish Grand Prix. Pagenaud will therefore take his place alongside Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin.