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Pagenaud wants switch to rallying when IndyCar career over

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Pagenaud wants switch to rallying when IndyCar career over
By:
Mar 22, 2018, 3:48 PM

Penske’s Simon Pagenaud says he wants to switch to rallying full-time following the end of his IndyCar career and has targeted competing in the Monte Carlo Rally. 

Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet
Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet
#6 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi, P: Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya, Simon Pagenaud
Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet, Ben Bretzman
#6 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi, P: Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya, Simon Pagenaud
Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet
Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet

Pagenaud, the 2016 IndyCar champion, has form for racing in other categories having competed in sportscars around his IndyCar commitments. 

The Frenchman won the 2010 American Le Mans Series and competed at Le Mans four times, as well as racing in select outings in Australia's Supercars series.

“I’d probably do the Monte Carlo in rally,” he said. “Rally is my passion. It’s something that when I retire [from IndyCar], I want to do full-time. That’s the form of racing to me that’s always been a dream of mine since I was a kid. 

“[Fernando] Alonso wants to win Indy, Monaco and Le Mans. I want to win Indy, the IndyCar championship, Le Mans and then the Monte Carlo Rally. It’s different goals. 

“[Rallying] to me – it’s such pure instinct driving. I’m very attracted to it. If I could, I would.”

Pagenaud also said he would like to try a NASCAR on an oval, as his only experience of left-turn-only racing has been in an IndyCar.

“Everybody is saying that I would want to be on a road course in NASCAR,” he said, “but I’m [already] driving the best car in the world on the road course. I’m happy with that.

“On an oval, it would be fun to see what [NASCAR] is like because I only know what an IndyCar feels like on an oval. I’ve never experienced anything else.”

When asked if he would have interest in returning to Supercars, Pagenaud said: “I’ve done it, it’s very specific. 

 “These drivers are very good at what they do. Just jumping in is very hard and there’s very little testing available for the coming drivers.

“Yeah, it’s fun. I’d love to do it. It’s a beautiful track in Bathurst, but it would require a lot of simulator testing to be up to speed. 

 “But why not? I love driving anything. Give me a steering wheel and four wheels and I’ll go for it.”

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Series WRC
Drivers Simon Pagenaud
Author Tom Errington