Team Penske confirmed on Tuesday ahead of this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto race that they have signed a multi-year contract with Honda to run two full-time Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International DPi entries in the 2018 championship.
The team will make their official competitive debut at the Rolex 24 Hours in January 2018. Details of the team’s entry will be made during an announcement at the Monterey Car Week which takes place next month with driver announcements at a later date. It is believed however that Verizon IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves could be one of the drivers for 2018 along with Juan Pablo Montoya but time will tell as to what happens.
Speaking about the announcement, Jon Ikeda, Acura Senior Vice President and General Manager commented by saying:
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. “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.
Team Penske founder Roger Penske commented by saying:
We are excited to join forces with the Honda Performance Development family and represent the Acura brand with two prototypes starting in 2018. “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.
Art St Cyr, HDP President commented by saying:
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. “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 unrivaled in our sport.