A Look At Toronto By the Numbers

Whether it’s lap times or rpm, gear ratios or mph, auto racing is a sport where numbers are used to measure everything.

With five races in five consecutive weekends, the IZOD IndyCar Series passed the halfway mark of the 2012 season during June. The two-week break between the last race at Iowa Speedway and the upcoming Honda Indy Toronto, July 2-8, is a perfect time to review the season.

So, the following is a ‘by the numbers’ look at Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports’ first half of the IZOD IndyCar Series:

1 Simon Pagenaud’s alter ego, Jean Girard, has officially surfaced just one time this year in the Schmidt Hamilton garage area. See video www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSOeXik2mfE
2 Simon Pagenaud has completed all but two laps of competition so far in 2012, more than any other competitor.
4 In just his rookie year, Pagenaud has recorded four top-five finishes so far this season including two podium finishes (Long Beach and Belle Isle).
6 Pagenaud is sixth in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series championship through nine of 15 races.
9 In nine races this season, the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Dallara has been running at the finish finish all nine times.
26 Pagenaud has led 26 laps of racing in 2012.
20 In the last race – the Iowa Corn Indy 250 – Pagenaud improved his starting position by 20 places after starting last (25th) and finishing fifth.
27 The Honda Indy Toronto will be the 27th major open wheel start for Pagenaud.
60 Simon Pagenaud has been behind the wheel of the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Dallara/Honda/Firestone car more than 60 hours in 2012. This includes races, practice, qualifying and testing.
65 On Lap 65 of the Long Beach Grand Prix, Simon Pagenaud recorded the fastest lap by a race leader that day.
120 In the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, Pagenaud leads Josef Newgarden by 120 points, 246-126.
1,311 Out of 1,213 laps of IndyCar racing this year, Pagenaud has completed 1,311.

Driver: Simon Pagenaud
Hometown: Montmorillon, France
Car: No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone
Event: Honda Indy Toronto
Date: Sunday, July 8, 2012
Series: Round 10 of 16 in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series
Standings: 6th

SIMON PAGENAUD (Montmorillon, France)
You were in a race car for seven straight weekends, which includes all the practice and qualifying at Indy. Do you feel recharged after having a week off?
“I usually enjoy racing every weekend, and if I could, I would be in a race car every day. However, it was needed for the HP crew and everyone to get a little bit of a break. This break also gives us the opportunity to sit back and understand what can be improved for the last six races of the season. Anyone in the top six of the championship is still a contender, so this last part is going to be crucial and very exciting.”

Toronto is one of the great cities of the world. What are your thoughts racing there?
“I enjoy going to Toronto. It is a great mix of U.S. and European culture. The city has a great atmosphere and great restaurants as well!”

What were your goals for the oval races this year?
“It was difficult to set goals. I did not really know what to expect and how to approach it. And I definitely didn’t know whether I was going to enjoy it! Now I can say that I enjoy it at least as much as a road course. The technical aspect and strategy fascinate me.”

Talk about the SSM team and the confidence you have in them.
“SSM has been tremendous all year long! The HP team had confidence in me from the first test, and I immediately felt the same with them. I felt at the Sebring test that we could be strong. We have a lot in common with everyone in the team. We want to win, and we are hungry! This has been very important during the season, and the further we have gone in the season the stronger the group has become! I also believe Honda has been a great addition to this group. They have provided us with great equipment so we could challenge Chevy at every race!”

SSM Toronto Notes

*The Honda Indy Toronto will be Simon Pagenaud’s 27th start in a major open-wheel race. He has 12 IZOD IndyCar starts and 14 Champ Car races under his belt.

*Pagenaud enters the Honda Indy Toronto sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship. However, he is only 40 points out of first place. The top six in points are Will Power (286), Ryan Hunter-Reay (283), Scott Dixon (271), Helio Castroneves (261), James Hinchcliffe (256) and Pagenaud (246).

*So far in 2012, there have been 1,313 laps of competition. Pagenaud has completed all but two. He and the HP team have completed 1,311 laps of competition to date, which is the most of all IZOD Indy Car Series drivers this year.

*Pagenaud and Ed Carpenter are the only two IZOD IndyCar Series drivers who have been running at the finish of every IZOD IndyCar Series race in 2012. Pagenaud also leads the Sunoco Racing Fuels Rookie of the Year standings.

*The Honda Indy Toronto will be the 69th time a Sam Schmidt-owned car has lined up on an IZOD IndyCar Series grid. Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports co-owner Davey Hamilton was in the cockpit of the No. 99 car when SSM made its first race in March 2001 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Social Media Information
For news and photos in real-time, follow Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Simon Pagenaud on Twitter.

Helpful social media handles:
@SSMIndy #HondaIndy
@simonpagenaud #indycar2012