It is the first French driver to win the IndyCar Championship since Sebastien Bourdais …
Ten years after his arrival in the US, Simon Pagenaud won Sunday the championship IndyCar after a season he dominated from start to finish and it concluded with a victory in Sonoma (California). At 32, Pagenaud realized on the Sonoma Raceway his childhood dream: he raised the imposing Trophy as Indycar champion, under a shower of champagne … California, in front of family and relatives, from France to witness his triumph.
“Since I arrived in the US, I think at that time, it is even a childhood dream to be champion IndyCar,” recalled Pagenaud who launched his career in the United States in 2006 in the first anonymity in a secondary championship cars and endurance before making its first steps in 2011 in IndyCar.
To afford the title and become the first French sacred in the most popular single-seater championship in North America from Sébastien Bourdais, quadruple Champ Car champion between 2004 and 2007 – championship contender in 2008 absorbed by IndyCar – Pagenaud achieved a near-perfect season in March the first race in 16th inning Sunday.
The plume’s End
With a comfortable lead in the overall standings with a 43 points advantage over Australian Will Power, it could have just calculated. But he showed plume-until he first took pole position on Saturday at the very end of “qualifying”, his seventh of the season, before dominating the race. The equation was simple: he could end up at one of the top five and be holy, whatever the result of Power, IndyCar champion in 2014 and three times winner of the GP of Sonoma. But he has a point to prevail after a beautiful duel with American Graham Rahal that he finally beat by more than three seconds on the line.
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With its perfect weekend where he stored the maximum points (100 for victory, both for the greatest number of laps led and one for the pole position) Pagenaud totaled 659 points , or 127 more than Power and 155 more than his Brazilian Helio Castroneves. “I do things which I do not think I could, thanks to a great work of mental preparation this winter. I felt invincible by time. “And it showed.