Roger Penske and his racing teams have done it all, racing in a multitude of series and achieving reat success. However, he wants another go at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and the accompanying FIA World Endurance Championship.
Team Penske intends to field an Oreca 07 Gibson in the 2022 WEC’s LMP2 class for Dane Cameron, Emmanuel Collard, and Felipe Nasr. All three drivers have enjoyed success in the American sports car realm, with Cameron winning the 2019 IMSA DPi championship for Penske. Collard, a longtime Le Mans racer who won his class in 2003 and 2009, was previously a Penske driver in the American Le Mans Series. Nasr is the defending IMSA DPi champion, his second such title, and he raced at Le Mans in LMP2 in 2018 and 2021.
“Joining Team Penske in a great opportunity and I can’t wait to compete in WEC and return to Le Mans this year,” Nasr stated. “I know we’ll learn a lot as a team as we develop our programme and gain some great experience. I’m really excited to get to work as we begin to build momentum for the future.”
Penske fielded a team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship that was closed after the 2020 season when Acura pulled its support. While this consequently left Penske out of sports cars in 2021, the team eventually allied with Porsche to form Porsche Penske Motorsport, an outfit that will begin competing in the new LMDh class (which replaces DPi) of IMSA and WEC in 2023.
While Penske has won nearly everything in racing, from the NASCAR Cup Series‘ Daytona 500 to the NTT IndyCar Series‘ Indianapolis 500, his Le Mans experience is sporadic by comparison. His team’s last start in the legendary endurance race came in 1971 in alliance with North American Racing Team, where Mark Donohue and David Hobbs ultimately retired due to an engine failure.
“We look forward to learning as much as we can about the WEC process in 2022 as most of our competition has competed in this series for many years,” commented team president Tim Cindric. His son Austin, a Cup Series rookie, also has sports car experience. “Much like the approach we took by running Road Atlanta in 2017 when we returned to sports car racing after an eight-year hiatus, we think the LMP2 class provides us a means of gaining valuable experience as we continue to build our programme to compete full-time in the IMSA and WEC LMDh class.”