We Challenge 2016 IndyCar Champion Simon Pagenaud to a Go Karting “Interview”

Hours after his dramatic win, the French-born Team Penske Racer takes on The Drive‘s editorial staff in what could be the easiest race of his life.

byThe Drive Staff|

"Are they seriously doing a track walk right now?" Simon Pagenaud says. The 2016 IndyCar Champion gestures toward The Drive's entire editorial staff, all of whom are indeed walking the go kart course at Pole Position Raceway in Jersey City, New Jersey. "That's not fair," the Team Penske driver scoffs. "I didn't realize I would win a championship and have to defend my title hours later." 

The French-born racer has just flown into New York City, hours after clinching the IndyCar title in Sonoma, California. Instead of a traditional interview, we challenged the champ to a heated session at Pole Position, which Pagenaud accepted readily. There would be a quick qualifying session followed by the actual race.

“I can tell you this is the most unorthodox ‘interview’ I’ve ever done,” Pagenaud says, watching the editors finish scouting. “But it will also be the most fun.” Helmets are donned, karts prepped (Pole Position kindly issues Pagenaud his actual number, #1) and the competition is underway.

See how members of The Drive fare in the race against Pagenaud in the video above, and check out the first race of the 2017 IndyCar series, The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, this Sunday at 12:30pm on ABC.  

Special thanks to Karen Davis Farage at Pole Position Raceway NJ. Video shot by Erica Lourd; edited by Erica Lourd, Andrew Siceloff, and Cait Knoll; and produced by Cait Knoll.