GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA (30 AUGUST)
Last Sunday saw the 2015 IndyCar Series draw to a close at the Sonoma road course in California where Simon Pagenaud provided further evidence of his speed and consistency to shine in qualifying. He earned fourth place on the grid to collect his 13th top-five qualifying performance of the season. In the race, the Frenchman figured inside the top seven until his first pit stop on Lap 14 when he collided with his team-mate Will Power and Josef Neugarden. The incident cost him valuable time and relegated him to 20th place. He fought back to appear in third spot prior to his second stop after 48 laps which dropped him to 19th. A sequence of fastest race laps allowed him to run inside the top 10 again, but his final position at the flag was 16th. The Californian race marked the end of Simon’s maiden season with Roger Penske, in the course of which he finished twice on the podium (Detroit and Mid-Ohio) and scored his first pole position round an oval (Fontana), in spite of the difficulties associated with running a fourth car (N°22) at Team Penske. Simon will now put the experience to maximum use as he begins his preparations for what promises to be a particularly interesting 2016 championship!
Simon Pagenaud: “I am disappointed for the team given the season we have had. Team Penske won the Indy 500 which is obviously the biggest race of the year and we’ve got three cars inside the 2015 championship’s top five. The team has done a tremendous job on the cars and we did our best to end the year in style last weekend but things didn’t fan out as planned because of problems encountered during the race. Congratulations to Scott Dixon on his title. I would also like to thank Avaya, HP, Hawk, Carlisle and Devilbiss, PPG, Chevy and Penske Truck Rental for everything they have done for me this year. We will now work hard to build our 2016 campaign based on the experience gained this season.”
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