When Roger Penske comes knocking, it’s hard to say no, as Simon Pagenaud has proven
In the Cadillac CTS-V’s final season in Pirelli
World Challenge, veteran Johnny O’Connell
gave it the perfect send off, winning the GT
Drivers’ title as he and Andy Pilgrim also
earned Caddy the Manufacturers’ crown. R i c h
The IndyCar off-season, which started
on Aug. 31, hasn’t seen quite as much
upheaval at the top of the driver/team
ranks as Formula 1 (see page 12), but
there’s been enough movement to trigger
intrigue and speculation both before and
after the switches were confirmed.
Few believed Simon Pagenaud would
ever sever his ties with Honda, nor that
Roger Penske would ever run four cars.
Yet both have come to pass and come
SIMON’S SIMPLE CHOICE
James Hinchcliffe is a
known quantity at
Schmidt Peterson, as
Sam ran Hinch in Indy
Lights back in 2009.
together, as the Frenchman, who this year
finished fifth in the IndyCar Series with
the Honda-powered Schmidt Peterson
Motorsports team, will drive a Team
Penske Dallara-Chevrolet in 2015.
“Simon is a very talented, focused and
determined driver,” said team owner Roger
Penske. “We know how tough he’s been
to compete with over the last few seasons
and we feel we now have four drivers very
capable of winning on any given weekend
and four guys who are legitimate
Schmidt Peterson’s prompt signing of
James Hinchcliffe to replace Pagenaud
made Andretti Autosport’s situation less
clear as the Canadian departed after
three seasons and three wins with AA.
But as we went to press, the third “giant”
of the series, Chip Ganassi Racing, was set
to confirm Sage Karam as replacement for
Ryan Briscoe in CGR’s four-strong lineup.
There’s not much
hasn’t done in Indy
car racing, but
running four cars
full-time is one of
plenty of fireworks
and Castroneves in
of wins, too.
IN THE NEXT RACER
THE CHAMPIONS ISSUE
SUBSCRIBE NOW! Call toll free (877) 425-4103 or go to www.racer.com
The how, what and why on 2014’s best of the best
Trying to make these kinds of scenes a more regular
occurrence is what has driven Simon Pagenaud to Penske.