Champion of the 2006 Atlantic Series, Simon Pagenaud's pace has been approved unanimously on the urban racing track of Las Vegas, and for the first race of the season.
Scoring the second fastest time in the first qualifying session, the Frenchman ranked eventually fifth on the starting grid.
After a careful start in the Las Vegas race, he chased the leaders and ranked second a long while, behind Will Power his team mate and winner of the race.
An engine failure forced however Simon to come back in the pits and retire. He will rank finally 12th at the end of the event.
Simon Pagenaud :
"I had a lot of new parameters to manage in this first Champ Car race : pit-stop, cold tyres, heavy fuel loads... I have been very enthusiast to compete finally for the podium.
Obviously, this engine failure in the last part of the race is annoying. But the rest of the weekend remains really positive. The fact my team mate has won the race proves how fast is our car and that the Team Australia is today among the top teams.
I learnt a lot in this first race, and I'm really looking forward now to use this experience at my own advantage in Long Beach, the next weekend. For sure, this season is so promising!"