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Castroneves, Pagenaud to remain as MSR’s endurance extras

IMSA Prototype championship-winning team Meyer Shank Racing has confirmed that Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud will remain its racers for the 2023 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s endurance rounds.

Hélio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing Honda, Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Castroneves and Pagenaud joined MSR’s 2022 full-timers Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis for this year’s Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, and helped clinch victory in the #60 Acura ARX-05.

Former Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne became the team’s third man for the 12 Hours of Sebring, since the event clashed with IndyCar’s second round and so Castroneves and Pagenaud were running the Texas 1.5-mile oval that weekend. But Castroneves returned for Petit Le Mans, so again was able to find his way to victory lane with Jarvis and Blomqvist. This bookending of the season with wins enabled Blomqvist and Jarvis to win both the overall championship and the Michelin Endurance Cup, and helped to ensure Acura beat Cadillac in the manufacturers’ standings in the final season of DPi rules.

The all-new Acura ARX-06 LMDh will make its debut at Rolex 24, in which both Pagenaud and Castroneves will be part of the MSR driver line-up, while Castroneves will also race the car at Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

“I’m super excited to come back to MSR and IMSA for the three long distance races,” said Castroneves who in 2021 also scored the team’s first IndyCar victory with his fourth triumph in the Indy 500. “I’m especially looking forward to driving the new Acura ARX-06.

“I know that the team has been working super hard to learn and understand a completely new machine. I’m hoping for much success just like the previous Acura!”

Pagenaud added: “I am extremely delighted to be part of the roster with MSR and Acura in this new era of sportscar racing. My career took off worldwide because of the opportunity I got with Acura to race the LMP2 car back in 2008.

“A lot of miles have been driven since and many trophies on the way! More recently winning the Rolex 24 as one of the world’s crown jewel in racing with my MSR Acura team was exceptional. I cannot wait for the future and I want to thank both MSR and Acura for having me join them in the opportunity to drive and help develop this new Acura LMDh."

The identity of Blomqvist’s full-time driving partner has not yet been revealed.

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