Pagenaud joins de Ferran's team

Former Champ Car driver Simon Pagenaud will partner Gil de Ferran in the Brazilian veteran's American Le Mans Series programme this year

Pagenaud joins de Ferran's team

The newly-formed de Ferran Motorsports team will enter an Acura LMP2 car in the ALMS from round four at Miller Motorsports Park next month.

Frenchman Pagenaud had an impressive Champ Car rookie season with Team Australia in 2007, but was unable to secure a drive in the IndyCar Series after the American single-seater merger during the winter.

"Simon has a very good reputation in the industry - that was the first thing that attracted me to him," de Ferran said. "That goes beyond just his on-track results which of course have been very impressive. It is about the overall package - how he works with the team, his work ethic, fitness, how he relates with sponsors, etc.

"My old friends at Walker Racing spoke very highly of him - he won his Atlantic championship with them in 2006 and was very impressive in Champ Car last year.

"Simon is also a very young guy and has already had some great results - hopefully however, he is yet to reach his full potential. As a team we can develop together. For de Ferran Motorsports, it is also important to have some young talent on board.

"I am looking forward to getting back behind the wheel but I won't be driving forever. Simon has a very long career ahead of him and hopefully he will be with us for many years to come."

Pagenaud said he was honoured to be selected to drive alongside de Ferran, who is making a racing comeback nearly five years after retiring from the IndyCar Series.

"I am really delighted to get this opportunity because it is not every day that a two-time CART champion and Indy 500 winner calls and says he wants you to be his co-driver," said Pagenaud.

"At this stage of my career, it is an outstanding opportunity and I can't wait for the first race. I have been looking forward for a chance like this for a long time, being part of a manufacturer programme is just outstanding.

"Looking ahead at my age, the future looks very bright but it will be up to me to do a very good job and repay the faith that Gil and Acura have shown in me."

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