Penske Announces IMSA Partnership With Acura For 2018
Column By: JOHN DOUGLAS / RPW – TORRANCE, CA – Penske Racing announced on Tuesday that they would return to SportsCar racing in 2018 with Acura to participate in the IMSA WeatherTech Series with a full Dpi program consisting of two brand new Acura ARX-05 cars under the Penske Racing name. Rumors have been running rampant in the IndyCar world that Helio Castroneves would join this new program, however no details on driver lineups were given during the announcement.
The first official event for the new partnership will be the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, with an official unveiling of the car scheduled for Monterey, California’s Car Week in August. Testing is scheduled to begin “soon” according to the official release.
“We are excited to join forces with the Honda Performance Development family and represent the Acura brand with two prototypes starting in 2018,” said Team Penske Founder Roger Penske. “Sports car racing has been an integral part of Team Penske’s heritage, from our first race at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1966 to running the American Le Mans Series in the late 2000s. Reviving a Team Penske sports car program has always been a goal for us, but to do so required strong and successful partners like Honda and Acura. It’s great to extend our relationship from the dealership to the race track and we are excited to come back to IMSA and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.”
Penske last fielded a full-time SportsCar effort in 2008 with Porsche backing in the LMP2 class of ALMS, which has since merged with IMSA to create the current format in the WeatherTech SportsCar Series. Penske Racing won the LMP2 championship in 2006,07 and 08.
Acura Racing has fielded NSX GT3 cars in different forms of GT racing across the country, with wins in Pirelli’s World Championship GT division, and wins at Watkins Glen and Detroit in IMSA’s GTD division. This will mark Acura’s return to prototype racing after a successful stint in the LMP2 category in ALMS competition, where the HPD ARX-01won the LMP2 championship.http://raceproweekly.com/rpw/2017/07/penske-announces-imsa-partnership-with-acura-for-2018/IMSARPW Exclusive