Pagenaud blisters timesheets in first Champ Car test
Pagenaud emerges as quickest in his first Champ Car test with Forsythe Championship Racing
(Indianapolis, IN) 15 December 2006--Simon Pagenaud marked himself as a quick study this season on his way to the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship, often taking pole position the very first day he ran on tracks he'd never seen before.
So it was no surprise that despite having to adjust to a car with more than twice the horsepower of anything he'd ever driven before, Pagenaud emerged as the quickest runner in a test with Forsythe Championship Racing at MSR Houston in Texas this week.
"I want to thank Jerry Forsythe for giving me this opportunity to test with a championship-winning team," said Pagenaud. "Everyone on the team helped me to get the best out of the car and out of myself. I was already confident about my move to Champ Car next season, but now that I have experienced the car and set the times that I did, I know I am ready to compete in the Champ Car World Series."
"There's definitely a huge difference between the Atlantic cars and the Champ Cars, but I feel like my time in Atlantics prepared me for the step up in power and downforce. The car was just great to drive, and now I am really looking forward to driving the new Panoz."
Pagenaud is working to find the best environment for his Champ Car World Series rookie campaign, and has been in communication with a number of teams. With a clear capability of getting up to speed quickly no matter what the track or the car, and with the $2 million champions check toward his 2007 Champ Car rookie season, Pagenaud's phone has been ringing often.
"I am optimistic that Champ Car is going to help make sure that the Atlantic champion is racing with a competitive organization," said Pagenaud. "I am happy I was able to get this test completed before Christmas and I feel as though I am ready for the first test in January in Sebring. I am completely focused on my next step in racing, so no vacation time for me this year! I am training every day and the test confirmed that I have the speed and the conditioning to be competitive next year. I just can't wait!"