Simon Pagenaud believes this weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix could see him and his Penske team finally turn the corner on a difficult start to 2018. The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion sits 9th in the point standings after 6 races but lies 88 points adrift of championship leader and teammate Will Power.
Talking ahead of the unique double-header race weekend in Detroit, the Frenchman is feeling confident about kick-starting his 2018 season: “After such a bad start to the season it feels like we are turning a bit of a corner over the last three races.”
An end to Pagenaud’s run of back luck?
Following disappointing results in the season opener at St Petersburg and on the streets of Long Beach, Pagenaud has secured 3 successive top-10 finishes. Pace has not been an issue with front row starts at ISM Raceway and the recent Indianapolis 500, plus a second row start at Long Beach.
Luck has, according to Pagenaud, been the problem.
“A lot of that has to do with our luck finally changing”, explained Pagenaud who will run in the colours of DXC Technology this weekend. “We’ve been fast as well (and) Detroit is a place that I’ve always enjoyed going to race.”
Pagenaud not short of motivation to win in Detroit
Pagenaud is no stranger to victory lane in Detroit having taken his maiden Verizon IndyCar series win there in 2013 for Schmidt Peterson. He also took the pole for both races there in 2016.
But aside from providing a much needed boost to his hopes of a second IndyCar championship, the 34-year-old is not short of motivation to win this weekend: “I really want to win here for Roger (Penske), Chevrolet and DXC because of all the efforts that have gone into making this a very important stop on the schedule.”
2018 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear
Practice for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presenter by Lear takes place on Friday 1 June from 11.20am (local) and 3.10pm. Qualifying for race 1 is on Saturday 2 June from 10.55am and race 1 itself taking the green flag at 3.45pm the same day.
Qualifying for race 2 will run from 10.45am on Sunday June 3 and the race from 3.45pm.
Live stream practice and qualifying
You can watch practice and qualifying live here at MotorSportNotes and both races will be broadcast live on ABC.
Both races will comprise 70 laps of the 14-turn street course in Belle Isle Park, Detroit.