IndyCar aces Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Briscoe will join Corvette Racing for the first two rounds of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Pagenaud, the longtime Honda driver, has joined under the Chevrolet umbrella in the Verizon IndyCar Series this season with Team Penske. He will add a Corvette C7.R to his last two cars, an HPD ARX-03b open-top P2 car and Riley-BMW Daytona Prototype, that he has driven at Daytona the last two years.
“Corvette is definitely an icon in American racing and as an American sports car,” Pagenaud said in a release. “When I was racing with 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.
“It is definitely a very different experience compared to prototypes but I have some good experience in GT cars. I look forward to now being part of the family by driving for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing. 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.”
Pagenaud is also a rarity as Team Penske rarely allows its IndyCar drivers to run other events. He made sure to thank “The Captain,” Roger Penske and Penske president Tim Cindric for the chance.
“Thanks to Chevrolet for the opportunity, and of course thanks to Roger Penske and Tim Cindric in allowing me to be available. 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 returns to Corvette Racing, where he drove three times in 2014, at Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans.
The talented Australian will co-drive with Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in the No. 3; Pagenaud will share the No. 4 with Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin.
“It’s such a massive honor to be a part of the Corvette Racing program,” Briscoe said. “To come back this year and be a part of the team for the endurance events, I’m really excited. 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.”
“It was definitely a new experience for me last year to be racing in the GT class. I thought 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. 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.”