IndyCar star Simon Pagenaud will be driving the No. 4 Corvette C7.R starting Jan. 9 along with Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the annual Roar Before the 24, which serves as a three-day tune-up in front of the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona and the start of the TUDOR Championship.
Pagenaud is a longtime Honda driver but has moved over to Chevrolet with Team Penske in the Verizon IndyCar Series. He drove an HPD ARX-03b open-top P2 car and Riley-BMW Daytona Prototype at Daytona the past two years.
“Corvette is definitely an icon in American racing and as an American sports car,” Pagenaud said in a press release. “When I was racing for another manufacturer, I always noticed the presence of the Corvette and Chevrolet fans. I’ve always said that Corvette Racing is a proper program – well put together with a very impressive presentation, great drivers and a fantastic team. The results speak for themselves. It’s great to be part of it now.”
Pagenaud said it’s definitely a very different experience compared to prototypes but he has some good experience in GT cars.
“I look forward to now being part of the family by driving for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing,” Pagenaud said. “The Corvette C7.R is a beautiful piece of machinery with a lot of high-tech development. It’s a great platform for the development of road cars and supercars.”
Meanwhile, Corvette Racing also announced that Ryan Briscoe will be back with the team for the second straight year, sharing the wheel with the No. 3 Corvette C7.R team of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia.
Both Briscoe and Pagenaud will also be competing for Corvette Racing in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
“Corvette Racing’s driver lineup for the Daytona and Sebring races represents a highly talented collection of drivers who are intensely focused on working together toward the common goal of winning,” said Mark Kent, Director, Chevrolet Racing. “Both Ryan and Simon are world-class drivers who know the kind of preparation, patience and skill needed to succeed in the top levels of endurance sports-car racing.”
The two racers have been successful in both open-wheel and sports car racing. Briscoe appeared in three events for Corvette Racing in 2014 – Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The Aussie also made 18 starts in the Verizon INDYCAR Series with one top-five finish and 10 top-10s. He has seven IndyCar victories to his credit to go along with nine prototype wins in the American Le Mans Series.
Pagenaud has also won several times in both open-wheel and prototype competition. While competing in the IndyCar series, he won two races in 2013 and 2014, and finished third in the 2013 IndyCar championship.
Pagenaud signed with Team Penske and will drive a Chevrolet V6-powered IndyCar for the 2015 season. Previously, he spent four seasons in ALMS prototypes with nine victories as a factory driver.
“Thanks to Chevrolet for the opportunity, and of course thanks to Roger Penske and Tim Cindric in allowing me to be available,” Pagenaud said. “With this type of opportunity where you have the chance to go and run in a different category with a car and team that can win, it’s exciting and gets you very motivated. I really want to win Daytona. If we can do that with Chevrolet and Corvette Racing, I’ll be super excited and over the moon.”
Briscoe, meanwhile, said it’s a massive honor to be a part of the Corvette Racing program again.
“To come back this year and be a part of the team for the endurance events, I’m really excited,” he said. “We’re hoping the pace and everything is there that we need to have to win with one of the Corvettes. We really were strong last year and had a little bad luck. Everyone on the team is extremely hungry and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Briscoe said it was a new experience for him in the GT class but he thinks it went really well.
“The team brought me on and gave me all the tools I needed to get up to speed and feel comfortable with the racecar,” he said. “I feel like it’s a comfortable pairing with Antonio and Jan. I really felt like I got really good track time and could put down really good lap times to hold my own. Before you get into it, you really don’t know how it’s going to go. You just want to do your best.”