Pagenaud Makes History By Unveiling Face On Borg-Warner Trophy In Paris

2019 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Simon Pagenaud unveiled his face on the Borg-Warner Trophy on Monday, Aug. 5 in Paris, the first time the winner’s likeness has debuted outside of the United States. Pagenaud’s likeness is the 106th face to be permanently fixed to the trophy. Pagenaud was the 2016 NTT IndyCar Series champion, has 14 career NTT IndyCar Series race wins and is the fifth French-born driver to win the Indianapolis 500. He captured the 103rd edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet on Sunday, May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

For a race car driver, having your likeness live on forever is like a writer when they publish a book,” Pagenaud said. “It’s your book. It’s going to stay. That is why this race is so important. Your image, the way you looked when you won, is going to stay forever on that legendary trophy. It’s very special.”

Pagenaud, 35, was born in Montmorillon, about 220 miles (355 km) southwest of Paris, in central-western France. He is visiting his hometown with the Borg-Warner Trophy this week during a promotional tour that also included unveiling the trophy today in Paris and visiting the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, Aug. 4 in Budapest. Among the guests present at the trophy unveiling was Mark Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent company of IMS and INDYCAR.

BorgWarner commissioned the creation of the iconic, 110-pound sterling silver trophy in 1935 to honor winners of the Indianapolis 500. The first driver to be awarded the trophy was Louis Meyer, who in 1936 was presented with the trophy featuring the previous 24 winner’s faces. The trophy is an integral part of the annual Indianapolis 500 tradition. Drivers from 21 U.S. states and 12 countries are represented on the trophy.

Creating a sterling silver three-dimensional likeness of Pagenaud’s face takes skill and talent. To design the image, sculptor William Behrends, who has been crafting faces which adorn the trophy since 1990, conducts a multi-phase process.

In addition to the driver receiving a miniature replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy, the team owner also receives a mini replica of the trophy, the BorgWarner Championship Team Owner’s Trophy. 2019 is a historic year for this trophy, as Roger Penske’s Team Penske adds to its already record-setting number of Indianapolis 500 team wins, with Penske earning his 18th BorgWarner Championship Team Owner’s trophy in 2019.