Connect with us

24H Le Mans

Pagenaud to Make Le Mans Return with Cool Racing

Simon Pagenaud set for first appearance at Le Mans since 2011; racing in LMP2…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Simon Pagenaud will compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time in more than a decade, linking up with Cool Racing’s LMP2 effort.

The two-time Rolex 24 at Daytona winner will pilot the No. 47 Oreca 07 Gibson in the French endurance classic, sharing the car with Vlad Lomko and Reshad de Gerus.

Pagenaud replaces Jose Maria Lopez at Le Mans, with the Argentinean racer instead competing as part of Toyota’s Hypercar squad.

The Swiss squad previously announced the signing of Lopez for the full European Le Mans Series campaign alongside Lomko and De Gerus, but was left with a vacancy in its Le Mans lineup due to Lopez’s FIA World Endurance Championship commitments.

Pagenaud competed at Le Mans four consecutive times between 2008 and 2011, debuting with Team ORECA-Matmut and finishing second overall as part of Peugeot’s LMP1 program during his last appearance.

“I’m back to Le Mans! I’m so delighted that the stars have finally aligned for this to happen,” he said.

“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 is a young team yet they manage to race at the front in a very competitive class, that’s exciting.”

Additionally, the team is fielding a second Oreca with a lineup consisting of Alexandre Coigny, Malthe Jakobsen and Nicolas Lapierre, competing in the Pro-Am category.

“Cool Racing took part in the event for the first time last year,” said team manager Anthony Megevand.

“For this edition, the team’s clearly moving up a gear, lining up two LMP2 Oreca 07s.

“It’s both an honor and a great responsibility: we’ll have to be on it and up to Le Mans standard, in the most competitive and jam-packed class!

“But we’ve devised our program and composed our crews with this in mind. Simon will be of great support to our team on many levels.

“He’s technical, experienced, and fast. We know him and we want to write a beautiful story together.

“With Reshad and Vladislav, the No. 47 car will be a strong contender. Same for the No. 37 in Pro/Am. We know we’ve set the bar high.

“It’s also going to be a great human adventure: Alexandre will be returning to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nicolas will be back with the team, and Malthe will continue to step up his game.

“It just reflects what we are: a young, passionate, and ambitious team. It’s also in line with the changes we’ve made in the off-season.”

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

Click to comment

More in 24H Le Mans