We met France's in early November after he tested a car in anticipation of racing in the GRX series next year, and since then, he's added to his tally of vehicles driven in 2012.
With Thursday's announcement that Pagenaud tested and signed to drive a Daytona Prototype at next January's , it's hard to appoint anyone other than the Indianapolis-based 28-year-old as the world's most versatile race car driver—a genuine throwback to the likes of Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt who excelled at so many different disciplines.
And to be clear, I'm not talking about Pagenaud trying to put up numbers by simply driving a lot of different cars. His versatility is staggering, and he has the open-wheel and sports car championships to prove it.
He earned the 2012 Rookie of the Year honors by placing fifth in the championship—ahead of 4-time champion Dario Franchitti, Penske driver Ryan Briscoe and 19-year F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello—and that's just his day job.
As the closest thing Honda has to a factory test/race driver, Pagenaud also raced in the with the top-tier Muscle Milk HPD-ARX03a P1 prototype, tested for the championship-winning Level 5 P2 ARX-03b, raced Honda's loveable Civic in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series, raced a Peugeot 306 Maxi rally car in Europe, a Ford Falcon in the Australian , tested the Ford Fiesta GRX car and just stepped out of the Riley-BMW Daytona Prototype he'll race at Daytona in six weeks.
He's finished second overall at the 2011 —just 13 seconds behind the winning Audi after waging an amazing comeback drive—for the Peugeot team, raced at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill and has a hankering to be the next Felix Baumgartner if Red Bull decides to do another space jump.
Of the major 4-wheeled series left on his list, F1, NASCAR and the NHRA are the only ones that remain for Pagenaud to sample.
The former will be a challenge, but with his reputation as one of the fastest men on the planet, and with another 15 or 20 years left in his career, don't be surprised if you see Pagenaud in the mix on a road course in a stock car or giving a good account of himself in a funny car.
Indianapolis. Le Mans. Daytona. Sebring. Dirt. Tarmac. Street courses. Ovals. Road courses. Day. Night… They all serve as his workplace.
The days of all-rounders like Mario and A.J. showing up to drive anything that interested them may be a thing of the past, but thanks to guys like Pagenaud, that spirit is being kept alive.