Originally written on Indy Racing Revolution  |  Last updated 10/8/14
IndyCar team owner signs Lights champion Tristan Vautier to form two-car lineup alongside Simon Pagenaud You don't have to field a multi-car program to succeed in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Sam Schmidt knows this, because his single-car effort last season managed to become Honda's No. 2 team behind the Chip Ganassi Racing juggernaut thanks to a fifth-place effort in the standings from its driver (and Rookie of the Year), Simon Pagenaud. But Schmidt, a former IndyCar driver himself, had visions of expanding his operation for some time, and he believes it's the way for his team to go even further than it did in 2012. "We kind of made a decision three or four months ago to really push hard and try to get to a two-car team, whether it be for data collection or chemistry or growing the organization -- any number of reasons," he said during an INDYCAR teleconference on Tuesday. "It's becoming apparent if you're really going to compete week in and week out with what is the foundation of the IndyCar Series -- whether it be Andretti [Autosport], Ganassi -- you pretty much have to be a two-car team." Enter Tristan Vautier, the reigning Firestone Indy Lights champion that has been setting the Mazda Road to Indy on fire in recent seasons. Across his championship runs in both Star Mazda (2011) and FIL (2012), he claimed eight victories and 21 top-five finishes in 23 combined starts. Now, after testing for Schmidt's operation late last year (now known as Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with the addition of new co-owner and former Toyota Atlantics racer Ric Peterson), Vautier will get his big shot in a second SPM IndyCar program alongside Pagenaud. "I was in discussions with Sam since the end of the season, but things got more serious after the test that I had," said Vautier. "I have been really wanting that opportunity. I wanted to stay with Sam, to step up to the big cars. It's a great day today for me to announce this news." Vautier has certainly earned his ticket to the top open-wheel series in North America, but while he'll be counted on to perform, he knows that he has a learning process to go through first. The good news for him is that he's entering into a solid group from the outset. As for his new teammate and fellow Frenchman, Pagenaud believes that Vautier has enough talent to not need many pep talks from him. "I don't think I have any advice to give [Vautier]," said Pagenaud. "I'm really glad he's joining us in the team...I think Tristan knows exactly what to do. Obviously, there's a few things he hasn't done like pit stops and things like that that he's going to have to learn. But he's a quick learner, a quick Frenchman, as well." Pagenaud also echoed Schmidt's belief in a multi-car program being better suited to face the likes of the "Big Three" -- the aforementioned Andretti and Ganassi camps, as well as Team Penske. "I think everybody on the team is very excited also to get bigger and to work together and try to go fight with the big guys," the Champ Car veteran said. "We've already done that quite a bit last year, but now we can say we have everything we need, all the tools, resources, to go out and do the best we can." --- The File: Tristan Vautier DOB: Aug. 22, 1989 Hometown: Corenc, France Resides In: St. Petersburg, Florida Major Accomplishments: 2012 Firestone Indy Lights Champion, 2011 Star Mazda Champion American Open-wheel Wins: 10 (6 in Star Mazda, 4 in Firestone Indy Lights) Also Raced In: Formula Two, Formula Renault
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Virginia's Justin Anderson breaks finger in loss

Hoyer: Browns' dysfunction will impact my decision

Cliff Lee could be traded during spring training

WATCH: Jim Boeheim curses in postgame conference

Western Michigan booster's wife sues message board trolls

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Top recruit CeCe Jefferson: I will turn my LOI to Florida soon

Report: Bruce Jenner involved in serious car crash

Richie Incognito signs with Bills

Report: Kings in serious discussions with George Karl

A-Rod offered apartment to John Sterling after fire

Chris Paul fined for criticizing referee Lauren Holtkamp

WATCH: Cauley-Stein throws down huge dunk on Florida

WATCH: Anthony Davis leaves with injury after nasty fall

Texas, UCLA also interested in Eastern Washington star QB

WATCH: Gronk spikes puck at Bruins game

WATCH: Arizona player tries to dunk, fails miserably

Kendrick Perkins suspended for head-butting Tyreke Evans

Barry Bonds bought himself a $20,000 bicycle

Jim Harbaugh takes veiled swipe at Ohio State

Why the Eagles make the most sense for Marcus Mariota

Five NFL sleeper teams to watch in 2015

WATCH: Anthony Davis hits game-winning 3-pointer

MLB, Fox still discussing details of in-market streaming

IndyCar News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wife of booster sues message board trolls

Richie Incognito signs with Bills

Harbaugh takes shot at Ohio State?

Chris Paul fined for criticizing referee

Suh wants to play for Seahawks?

Report: Bielema gets two-year extension

Durant puts up All-Star spot in game of one-on-one

Manfred has advice for HOF voters

Chris Pratt makes good on SB bet

Chris Paul rips rookie female ref

Karl interested in Magic job

Five candidates for NFL franchise tag

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.