Simon Pagenaud will make his return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 class with COOL Racing / CLX Motorsport.
The Frenchman, who finished second overall in his last start at the world’s biggest endurance race in 2011 as a member of the factory Peugeot Sport LMP1 team, spent the offseason searching for an opportunity to take part in the event’s 100th anniversary race.
He’ll share the No. 47 ORECA 07-Gibson with Reshad De Gerus and Vladislav Lomko and look to add to his season-opening win with the Meyer Shank Racing IMSA GTP team at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and pursue his second Indianapolis 500 victory just weeks before heading home to take part in the 24-hour classic.
“I’m back to Le Mans!” Pagenaud said. “I’m so delighted that the stars have finally aligned for this to happen. This 2023 season is going to be amazing. The 24 Hours of Daytona, Indianapolis 500, and Le Mans are the number one motorsport events and I’m going to take part in all three of them the same year. I love that! I’m looking forward to this great experience. COOL Racing / CLX Motorsport is a young team, yet they manage to race at the front in a very competitive class – that’s exciting.”
Countryman, former rival, and COOL team principal/driver Nicolas Lapierre adds to Pagenaud’s anticipation for what’s possible in June.
“What a great story between Nicolas Lapierre and I, given that we used to be wheel to wheel in Formula Renault when we were younger,” Pagenaud said. “I have great respect for him and his career. I’m going to bring all of the experience I’ve gained throughout the years and I hope that both the team and my teammates will benefit from it.
“I’d like to thank the ACO for the tremendous work and effort they’ve continuously put in so that the 24 Hours of Le Mans remain the amazing and legendary race it’s always been. With the new regulations, for sure it’ll continue to be a fantastic event in the years to come. I’m really looking forward to taking part in this 100th edition and to racing in France again. Being on that starting grid will be very special for me.”