Simon Pagenaud will continue to race in the American Le Mans Series after the de Ferran Motorsport team confirmed it has re-signed the Frenchman for a second season.
The former Champ Car racer joined team owner Gil de Ferran for the team's first season in the series with the LMP2 Acura ARX-01b, scoring a podium on his debut at Salt Lake and setting the fastest race lap in the process.
Further impressive performances followed, including front row starts at both Lime Rock and Belle Isle, and Pagenaud will now return to the team as it steps up to LMP1 with the new Acura ARX-02 in 2009.
"I am really delighted to have the opportunity to race with de Ferran Motorsports again in 2009," he said. "We have had an incredible 2008 with so much to learn and in such a short period of time.
"It has been really interesting to have worked on so many facets of the car - the engine, the traction control, the chassis - there are so many areas for development in this championship. I feel I have been given a great welcome into de Ferran Motorsports and the Acura family and I have felt comfortable straight away this year and very much at home.
"Our efforts have been awarded with the chance to develop and race the LMP1 Acura and that will be a fantastic opportunity."
Team boss de Ferran said he was delighted to retain Pagenaud for the new season and said he had already established himself as one of the top drivers in the ALMS.
"When Simon joined us less than a year ago, frankly little was known about him apart from the fact he showed a lot of promise and carried himself well," he said. "From our perspective, this promise has been realised and today, although still only 24-years-old, Simon is one of the series leading drivers.
"His contribution to our team in 2008 went beyond the excellent job he did in the cockpit and we look forward to benefiting from having him around in 2009. Long may his success continue."