Simon Pagenaud, 2007 Simon Pagenaud

Former ChampCar driver Simon Pagenaud has declared his hopes of racing in the Indianapolis 500 and the $5 million Las Vegas season finale with the backing of his American Le Mans Series team, Highcroft Racing.

The Frenchman was a hot prospect in the American open-wheeler scene just five years ago when he won the 2006 Formula Atlantic title before graduating to ChampCar the following year, where he showed impressive form as a rookie driver in Walker Racing’s Team Australia outfit in 2007 (pictured, above left).

The merger of ChampCar and IndyCars during the 2007 off-season saw him without a race seat, and so he headed to sports car racing, joining the works Peugeot LMP1 team before he took last year’s ALMS title with Highcroft alongside team-mate David Brabham.

The Highcroft squad has been linked with rumours of a tilt at IndyCars, and the 26-year-old Pagenaud is hoping that this speculation will become reality this year.

“There’s also an exciting project on the cards with Highcroft, and that is to enter a car for the Indy 500, which celebrates its centenary this year,” Pagenaud is quoted as saying. “The Indy programme would also involve the Las Vegas race at the end of the season.

“I have always wanted to race in IndyCar and we are working hard on putting everything together. It would be fantastic if that could be in association with Highcroft.”

[Original images via LAT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.