Acura Motorsports and Team Penske Announce North American Prototype Effort
Today Acura Motorsports announced that it is joining forces with Team Penske to field a prototype effort in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. A pair of new Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International (DPi) entries will be fielded under the legendary Team Penske banner as part of the program.
Acura Motorsports says that it will begin testing of the Acura DPi soon, with a formal unveiling of the ARX-05 slated for Monterey Car Week in August, and the official competition debut taking place at the season-opening Rolex 24 in January 2018. The driver lineup will be announced at an as-yet undetermined future date.
“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 Acura VP and general manager Jon 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.”
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“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.”
The new Acura ARX-05 [Acura Racing eXperimental, generation 5] prototype is based on the very successful ORECA 07 chassis, and features Acura-specific bodywork and the production-based Acura AR35TT twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine.
Honda Performance Development, the racing arm for both Acura Motorsports and Honda Racing in North America, will administer the multi-year program.
“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 HPD President Art 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 unrivaled in our sport.”
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