Simon Pagenaud has offered the first driver’s comments on IndyCar’s upcoming Grand Prix of Boston street course, after the Team Penske driver got to take a lap on the circuit over the weekend.
“The underground aspect is very unique,” Pagenaud said in a league statement released Monday. “I mainly look forward to hearing the sound of the car as I drive under it.
“The layout is very fun and the track itself is in a fast-growing area with great dynamic. I should be able to get good speed because the wide track, fast corners and smooth roads after all of the work [is completed] will most likely make this track one of the fastest tracks there is.”
Boston has decided upon a 2.25 mile course on the roads near the South Boston Waterfront, built around the city’s Convention and Exhibition Center, for the first ever Grand Prix of Boston that is scheduled to take place on Sep. 4.
While there has been some concern about race organizers being able to come to agreements with city leaders to facilitate the event, there have been no official indicators that the race will not be run as currently scheduled, where it sits as the next-to-last event of an expanded Verizon IndyCar Series season.
“The Verizon IndyCar Series is very excited for the potential that Boston brings as a whole,” Pagenaud added on Monday. “It is exciting to be able to reach out to another population in a great area, and hopefully see its economy change for the better as a result of the race. I would really like to thank the city of Boston for this opportunity.”
Tickets for the Grand Prix of Boston are on sale now through the event’s website.
If Boston goes forward, it will be the second time in two seasons IndyCar has tried to crack a new market. The league attempted to launch the Grand Prix of Louisiana in 2015, but then pulled the race off its schedule after the first outing was marred by constant rain that left very little green flag racing for a disappointed crowd.
Phoenix International Raceway and Road America have been added back onto the IndyCar calendar, while Auto Club Speedway and The Milwaukee Mile are absent for the first time in 2016.
If for some reason the Boston race does not happen as planned, it would also be the second time in two seasons the IndyCar season was impacted by an economic situation. The 2015 season had been expected to open with an international race in Brazil, going so far as to lock up title sponsors and a venue, but the race was cancelled after the political situation in the country changed and impacted the situation.
As for Pagenaud, this year will be his second as the fourth driver for Team Penske. The Frenchman finished eleventh in the league standings in 2015, his first campaign with the major team after several seasons at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. His seat at SPM was taken by former Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe.
For more on the Verizon IndyCar Series, visit the league’s website.