SEBRING, Fla. —Former Peugeot and Highcroft driver Simon Pagenaud has signed on with Muscle Milk Pickett racing as a third man for the 60th Anniversary Sebring 12 Hours.
“I’m delighted to be taking on this new challenge and very happy to be joining Muscle Milk Pickett Racing for the first race of the ALMS season,” Pagenaud said in a press release. “They were my greatest competitor for the last few years and they are a great team with fantastic people and drivers. I will do my best to represent them as well as possible and I will use all my experience aboard the previous versions of the HPD prototypes that I have driven to help the team.”
The 28-year-old Frenchman finished second the American Le Mans Series with de Ferran Racing HPD ARX-01b in 2009, co-drove the championship-winning Highcroft ARX-02a in 2010, and beat the factory Peugeots and Audis to finish second at Sebring in the Highcroft ARX-01e in 2011.
Pagenaud had also been driving other endurance events (including Le Mans) with Pescarolo and Peugeot through those years.
Now he will pilot yet another HPD, the brand-new Muscle Milk Pickett ARX-03a, with co-drivers Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf.
“When I heard [Honda Performance Development was] coming out with the HPD ARX-03a P1 prototype, I was very interested in participating in the 12 Hours of Sebring,” said ther French driver. “I talked to HPD with Greg and Klaus about this great opportunity and we connected all the dots.”
Pagenaud will return to the ALMS for just the one race—so far. He is also racing a full season in IndyCar with Sam Schmidt Racing.
Muscle Milk Pickett racing also signed GT4 and ILMC GTE-Am veteran Roger Wills as a third pilot for the team’s new LMPC entry at Sebring and other longer enduros.
Wills started racing historic cars before moving to GT4 in 2010, winning his class at the Spa 24 Hours. He finished fourth in ILMC GTE-Am in 2011 with CR Racing. He will co-drive with Memo Gidley and Mike Guasch.
“I’m very excited about joining Muscle Milk Pickett Racing in the LMPC car for selected races in the ALMS season this year,” Wills said in a press statement. “I’ve been very impressed with the team in my discussions so far and from what I have seen of them at previous events. Both Memo Gidley and Mike Guasch have a huge amount of experience and seem super-focused on doing well in the class this season, so it is great to be joining them.
“I really enjoyed my debut at Sebring and Petit Le Mans in 2011 with CRS, so I’m delighted to be back at these great events with such a top team this year.”
Pagenaud and Wills will be testing their new rides at the ALMS Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway, Feb. 8–9. Tickets are available at the gate for $10.