Simon Pagenaud scored two wins in 2013. (Photo: Getty Images)

scored two wins in 2013. (Photo: Getty Images)

Simon Pagenaud returns to for the 2014 Series season, where he will look to build on last season’s success and be a serious contender for the title in only his third full-time season.

The Frenchmen is coming off a career-best season which saw him score two victories – Detroit 2 and Baltimore – and finish third in the championship standings, 69 points back from winner Scott Dixon.

However, Pagenaud believes he can improve greatly in 2014 and ultimately fight for the IndyCar crown.

“I think the goal should be to try to battle for the championship once again but try to get even closer,” said the 2012 Rookie of the Year. “The goal is going to be to win. We need to be able to accomplish that every weekend. Cross everything we want to cross every weekend; make sure we’re competitive at every race track – every oval. Hopefully get an oval win pretty soon.

“I’m just going to try as hard as I can. My personal goal – beyond numbers – my personal goal is to extract 100 percent out of myself and to try to make that 100 percent more than last year.”

Pagenaud will be joined at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports by Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin, who has experience in Formula Renault and GP2. The two race into the season with several changes including the new twin-turbo Honda engine and several personnel changes.

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