Friday, May 30, 2014

Simon Pagenaud used to success in Detroit; brings Auburn Hills sponsorship to prix

Simon Pagenaud celebrates 2013 win in Detroit Grand Prix.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports returns to the site of its first Verizon IndyCar Series victory this weekend for the Detroit Grand Prix, and the team hopes to defend a win on Belle Isle with drivers Simon Pagenaud and Mikhail Aleshin.
Pagenaud’s victory in Race 2 at the 2013 Dual in Detroit was the first  IndyCar Series win of the Frenchman's career. But it wasn't his first taste of success on the 13-turn, 2.36-mile temporary street course. Each of the three times Pagenaud has competed at Belle Isle, he has found the podium. In 2008 he placed third in the American Le Mans Series race with de Ferran Motorsports, in 2012 he placed third as a Verizon IndyCar Series rookie with SPM, and he found victory circle in 2013 with SPM.   
"I'm happy to be back in Detroit because it's a place where I enjoy driving," Pagenaud said. "It suits me very well, and I've had good results there my whole career, whether it be in sports car or IndyCar."
Pagenaud and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports also won the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10, which was the most recent Verizon IndyCar Series race on a road course.
"We're going to Detroit with a very aggressive approach, which is to try and win the race again," he said. "There's no reason why we shouldn't be competitive. I like the fact that the Belle Isle track is narrow and that the tarmac changes. It's a track where you really have to attack. There's a lot of grip on the course after we run a few laps, and you really have to commit to the corners to succeed there."
Pagenaud's No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone car will feature a bright orange livery to promote its primary sponsor for the race weekend, Oculus Transport. Pagenaud is also excited to race near the U.S. headquarters of Magneti Marelli in Auburn Hills,  one of the team's associate sponsors.
"Magneti Marelli makes high-tech electronics for cars, among other things, and they are very involved with our team and with Honda," Pagenaud said. "I'm excited to represent them so near to their home base. It's a company I've grown up knowing about because they have a factory very close to my hometown in France."

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