There’s nothing like racing in front of your hometown crowd to get a driver pumped up more than usual.
That was the case this past weekend as French driver Simon Pagenaud won his first-ever rally race in front of many of his friends and family in the Rallye National de la Vienne.
“What a weekend!” said Pagenaud, 29. “I’m obviously delighted to have won my first rally in my home part of France and with the backing of the local regional authorities.
“It didn’t take me long to feel comfortable enough in the Peugeot to start pushing hard. The conditions changed drastically throughout the race, but we managed to adapt, and our pace notes were perfect.”
Pagenaud, who drives in the IndyCar series for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, often moonlights in other series, including rally racing and other forms of sports car competition.
His win came in the March 7-8 event in and around his native La Vienne region of France. Piloting a Team FJ-prepared Peugeot S2000, Pagenaud and co-driver Manu Dechatre outlasted several other French drivers to take the checkered flag.
“The support of all my partners enabled me to indulge my passion for rallying once again behind the wheel of what was, frankly, an incredible car,” Pagenaud said. “The only frustrating thing was that it was over so quickly, and I had to hand back the keys of the car!”
Check out the highlight video of Pagenaud’s win below:
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