Simon Pagenaud has been signed up by Team Penske under a multi-year agreement which will see the 30-year-old Frenchman end his three-year partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, which had delivered four race wins including the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis road course race in May.

"Getting a chance to race for Team Penske is almost like a dream to me," admitted Pagenaud. "I have always admired the team and everything that Roger Penske has accomplished in racing.

"I am so excited to become a part of Team Penske and I can't wait for the 2015 season to start," he added.

Monday's announcement means that Penske will expand to a four-car line-up next season, with Pagenaud taking his place alongside existing team members Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya.

"Simon Pagenaud is a very talented, focused and determined driver," said team owner Roger Penske. "We know how tough he has been to compete with over the last few seasons and we are very happy to welcome him to Team Penske starting in 2015.

"With Simon coming on board to join Will, Helio and Juan, we feel we have four drivers very capable of winning on any given weekend and four guys who are legitimate championship contenders," Penske added.

Power finally succeeded in achieving his dream of a maiden Verizon IndyCar Series championship last month at Fontana, and will be looking to notch up back-to-back titles when the new season gets underway next March.

Power and Pagenaud have already had experience of being team mates in the past, when they drove for Derrick Walker in the 2007 Champ Car season, but had a stormy period earlier this season after on-track incidents between the two drivers at Long Beach and Detroit strained their prior friendship, but the pair don't expect any lasting problems to affect their new partnership at Penske.

"We had our contacts on track but Will is the champion and a tremendous driver and we were good team mates in Champ Car so it's our job to make it work," insisted Pagenaud. "I don't see any problem or reason it won't work."

Pagenaud will run the new #22 Penske Chevrolet entry in 2015, a car number previously held by the Dreyer and Reinbold Racing squad. No commercial details of Pagenaud's deal with the team were announced.

The announcement means that Sam Schmidt will have to get to work recruiting a new lead driver for his team, which this year fielded Pagenaud alongside Russian rookie Mikhail Aleshin. The team is set to test a number of drivers over the next few weeks, including Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves and former Marussia F1 test driver Rodolfo Gonzalez.

Sportscar star Rocky Moran Jr. is also set to try out the SPM car at Homestead, while established IndyCar stars James Hinchcliffe and Justin Wilson may also be in the running for a new race seat in 2015.


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