Simon Pagenaud is thrilled to announce his participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 (10-11 June). He will join the Swiss team COOL Racing / CLX Motorsport behind the wheel of an ORECA 07 LMP2. For the 100th edition of the legendary race, the French driver, winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 2019, will team up with Reshad De Gérus and Vladislav Lomko in the #47 car.
Simon Pagenaud returns to Le Mans
2023 will see Simon Pagenaud return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a track on which he won the “Volant Elf” in 2000. After having participated in the 2001 FFSA Elf series, he started his career in Formula Renault Campus, followed by Formula Renault, before moving to the USA in 2006 to race in the Champ Car series. In 2023, he’s starting his 12th season in IndyCar.
Pagenaud has been attending Le Mans from a very young age (only 4 years’ old), before taking to the track for the first time in 2008 with Team ORECA, and achieving a second-place finish in 2011, only 13 seconds away from victory. The Poitiers-born driver is fast and experienced. Throughout his successful career, not only has he managed to triumph at the Indianapolis 500, and clinch a title in IndyCar, but he has also won the 24 Hours of Daytona twice. Pagenaud and his teammate in the sister car, Nicolas Lapierre (COOL Racing co-founder), have crossed paths before, in Formula Renault as well as at Team ORECA.
Simon Pagenaud: “I’m back at Le Mans! Everything has finally lined up and I’m delighted. This 2023 season is going to be amazing. The 24 Hours of Daytona, Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans are the number one motorsport events and I am going to take part in all three of them in the same year. It’s amazing! I am looking forward to this great experience. COOL Racing / CLX Motorsport is a young team, yet they manage to race at the front in a very competitive class.
“It’s a great story between Nicolas Lapierre and me, given that we used to race wheel to wheel in Formula Renault when we were younger. I have great respect for him and his career. I’m going to bring all of the experience that I’ve gained throughout the years and I hope that both the team and my teammates will benefit from it.
“I’d like to thank the ACO for doing a tremendous job to make sure that the 24 Hours of Le Mans remain the amazing and legendary race it’s always been. With the new regulations, for sure it will continue to be a fantastic event in the years to come. I’m really looking forward to taking part in this 100th edition and to racing in France again! Being on that starting grid will be very special for me.”
Simon Pagenaud will be sharing the wheel of the #47 ORECA 07 with two drivers who race for the team in ELMS alongside Jose Maria Lopez: Reshad De Gerus and Vladislav Lomko, 20 and 19 years old respectively. With all of their skills combined, Pagenaud and the two youngsters will form a talented trio. They will try to sneak in front of the pack, in a class that is particularly competitive this year.
Anthony Megevand, COOL Racing Sporting Director: “We will have to be up to Le Mans standards, in the most competitive and jam-packed class! But we have devised our program and composed our crews with this in mind. Simon will be of great support to our team on many levels. He’s technical, experienced, and fast. We know him and we want to write a beautiful story together. With Reshad and Vladislav, the #47 car will be a strong contender.”