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IndyCar Driver of the Year vote: 3rd

You voted France's Simon Pagenaud into 3rd place in Crash.net's IndyCar Driver of the Year 2012 poll!
Top 10 IndyCar Driver of the Year 2012:
3. Simon Pagenaud

Birthplace: Montmorillon, France
Birthdate: May 18, 1984
Team: Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsport
2012 starts: 15
Poles: 0
Wins: 0
Top 5: 6
Top 10: 10
Championship points: 387
Championship position: 5th
Crash.net IndyCar Driver of 2011 position: N/A

For years, Simon Pagenaud has been one of the best-kept secrets in open wheel racing. He originally raced in the Champ Car World Series in 2007 and compared favourably with his Team Australia team mate Will Power, but the unification of Champ Car with the Indy Racing League left him without a seat in the resulting IndyCar series and so he decamped to Le Mans sportscar endurance racing instead - and very successfully, too.

But US open wheel racing remained an itch that Pagenaud needed to scratch, and after a year of IndyCar test sessions and acting as 'super sub' for injured drivers on more than one occasion in 2011 he finally got a full season gig with Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsport. Did he need a while to settle in? A sixth in his début at St Petersberg, fifth at Barber, and then second place in Long Beach said not! There were three more podiums over the course of the year, and by the end it wasn't a case of whether or not he'd be rookie of the year but whether he was outright the most impressive driver of 2012, experienced or otherwise.

You've awarded him third place in the Crash.net IndyCar Driver of the Year vote, well ahead of the likes of Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti, and that confirms just how well the Montmorillon man made his mark in the series this year. We look forward to seeing him top it in 2013.

Top 10 IndyCar Driver of the Year 2012 results so far:
3. Simon Pagenaud
4. Scott Dixon
5. James Hinchcliffe
6. Helio Castroneves
7. Sebastien Bourdais
8. Takuma Sato
9. Justin Wilson
10. Dario Franchitti


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Simon Pagenaud in the #77 Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports Honda during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
Simon Pagenaud in the #77 Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports Honda during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
13-15 April, 2012, Long Beach, California, USA. James Hinchcliffe, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud wave to the fans on the victory lap. (c) 2012, Lesley Ann Miller. LAT Photo USA. [Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA]
Simon Pagenaud during the Indy 500 Rookie Orientation Program on 10 May, 2012. (c) 2012, Walt Kuhn.LAT Photo USA [Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA]
Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Simon Pagenaud celebrate on the podium after the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. 1-3 June, 2012, Detroit, Michigan  (c) 2012, Phillip G. Abbott LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Simon Pagenaud leads Ryan Hunter-Reay during the Grand Prix of Baltimore (c) 2012 Michael L. Levitt (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Simon Pagenaud in action on the streets of Baltimore. (c) 2012 Phillip Abbott (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Simon Pagenaud (#77 Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports) (c) 2012 Michael L. Levitt, LAT Photo (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Mikhail Aleshin waits on pitlane prior to practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz waits on pit lane in Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The crew of Mikhail Aleshin go to work in the pits (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power and Carlos Munoz flank winner Mike Conway during their victory lap (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Huertas (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth enters the hairpin during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Huertas waits on pitlane prior to the start (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon rolls out of pitlane during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz with a champagne surprise (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrating his victory (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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