Acura Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Dane Ricky Taylor took victory in the DPi Drivers IMSA WeatherTech Championship for 2020 as Team Penske won the team’s championship while Acura won the manufacturer championship at the 12 Hours Of Sebring with the help of NTT IndyCar Series driver Alexander Rossi.
Speaking following his championship win, three time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves who returns to NTT IndyCar Series race action with Meyer Shank Racing in 2021 as he prepares to compete in six races for the Ohio based outfit including the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the Brazilian said:
There’s just so much going through my mind right now. For me, being able to win this championship with this amazing organization, this incredible group of people, I’ll never, ever forget this time. I have to thank everyone here, this guy [co-driver Ricky Taylor] and of course Roger Penske. What an incredible journey.”
Ricky Taylor commented saying:
To me [co-driver Helio Castroneves] is Team Penske. For me, it was the privilege of a lifetime to get to drive for Acura Team Penske and to have the best three years of my career here. To win this championship with this team, and with him [Castroneves] is one of the highlights of my life. We’ll be friends for life.”
The championship win was Team Penske’s third prototype win in a row and brings a wonderful partnership to an end as Acura move their prototype programme to Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing who will run one ARX-05 DPi each in 2021.
Speaking of Meyer Shank Racing, Mario Farnbacher successfully defended his GTD IMSA championship from 2019 and speaking following the action he said:
This championship means everything. I got into this team in 2018 as a third [endurance race] driver, and I’ve grown so much since then. I was named a full-season driver last year and we became champions with [co-driver] Trent Hindman, Acura, HPD and Meyer Shank Racing. And now, this year, we did it again with these amazing two gentlemen [McMurry and Michimi], Acura and this amazing crew. It hurts a bit that this program ends with Meyer Shank Racing [as MSR moves to the DPi class in 2020 and new teams take over the Acura GTD effort], but for sure a new chapter will open next year. It’s just so great to end this season with, first of all, the championship, and a podium at the end.”
Matt McMurray, team mate to Farnbacher commented saying:
There were a lot of ups and downs all throughout the race, but we just did consistent laps the whole time. The team did such an awesome job, they always do. [Co-drivers] Mario [Farnbacher] and Shinya [Michimi] did such an incredible job. We couldn’t have done it without everyone involved.”
Wayne Gross, Team Manager with Honda Performance Development commented saying:
The Sebring 12 hour is always rough and challenging. This race was certainly no exception, full of drama, battles and excitement. But at the end of an incredible day and night, and an equally incredible IMSA season, Acura and our partner teams once again lived up to our motto of ‘Precision Crafted Performance’. We did what was needed to take home the drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers’ titles in both DPi and GTD, for a successful close to our relationship with Acura Team Penske in DPi, and Meyer Shank Racing in GTD. We are sincerely thankful to everyone at Acura Team Penske, and of course everyone at HPD, for their season-long efforts. Together, we’ve achieved success on so many fronts this year in truly unique, and always challenging, conditions.