Team Penske Unites with Acura for 2018 Prototype Project


Roger Penske will realise his dream to return to sportscar racing in 2018 with Acura - Credit: Dana Garrett / IndyCar

Team Penske will field a pair of Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International (DPi) entries in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship after partnering with Acura Motorsports.

Roger Penske’s outfit is expanding its team to accommodate sportscar racing again after last participating in the American Le Mans Series back in 2009 before focusing on its Verizon IndyCar Series project.

The legendary outfit also has teams in NASCAR and the Australian V8 Supercars championship, but according to Penske, this return to sportscar racing has been a goal for the team for many years.

“We are excited to join forces with the Honda Performance Development family and represent the Acura brand with two prototypes starting in 2018,” said 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.”

Jon Ikeda, the senior vice president and general manager of Acura, is delighted to be able to announce the partnership with Penske, and on top of its race winning effort in the GT Daytona class with Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian utilising the Acura NSX GT3, they are hopeful of similar results in the prototype class.

“Roger Penske is already an important part of the Acura family as one of our great Acura dealers, and now it is a thrill to have him as part of the Acura Motorsports family as well,” said Ikeda.

“We look forward to building on the success of the race-winning NSX GT3 program, and couldn’t be more thrilled to return to the prototype category of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a partner like Team Penske.”

Honda Performance Development will administer the multi-year programme, and HPD president Art St. Cyr says that he is looking forward to working with Penske, rather than against them as they are in IndyCar, where Penske uses Chevrolet power.

“We had a very spirited competition with Team Penske during our previous ALMS Acura prototype programs, and we are looking forward to working with, instead of against, Team Penske as the ideal partner for our return to the prototype ranks,” said St. Cyr.

“We also had a great deal of success together in CART and IndyCar competition, and Team Penske’s overall record in all forms of racing is unrivalled in our sport.”