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RICKY TAYLOR, GRAHAM RAHAL & SIMON PAGENAUD COMPLETE ACURA TEAM PENSKE IMSA LINEUP

RICKY TAYLOR, GRAHAM RAHAL & SIMON PAGENAUD COMPLETE
ACURA TEAM PENSKE IMSA LINEUP
Drivers Join Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Dane Cameron in Acura Program

MOORESVILLE, NC (October 11, 2017) – Acura Team Penske completed its full-time sports car driver lineup today, as the organization announced that recently-crowned IMSA Prototype Champion Ricky Taylor will race in the Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International (DPi) program beginning in 2018. Taylor will team up with Helio Castroneves in one of the team’s two full-time entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next season. They will join the previously-announced pairing of Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron.

In addition, Graham Rahal and 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Simon Pagenaud will join the program as endurance drivers when the team makes its competition debut with the new Acura prototype sports cars at IMSA’s 2018 season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona in January and the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.

“Adding a champion sports car driver in Ricky will help our team grow and develop,” said Roger Penske. “Ricky had a phenomenal season in 2017. He brings a great deal of sports car experience and his knowledge of the cars, the race tracks and the series overall will be a big benefit to our team. Having that experience, along with the winning pedigree of Helio, Juan and Dane, provides a great platform as we launch the Acura Team Penske program next season. When you add Simon and Graham for the endurances races, I feel like we have a strong lineup for Daytona and Sebring.”

“We are really excited to have three more great drivers join the Acura Team Penske program and round out our lineup for next season,” said Art St. Cyr, President of Honda Performance Development. “Ricky will be a great addition and putting him with Helio will make for a formidable duo to join the other team of Juan and Dane. Then, you add Simon and Graham, who have each driven for Acura in the past, we couldn’t be more excited about getting the ARX-05 ready to go for Daytona.”

At Petit Le Mans, Taylor clinched the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Prototype title racing alongside his younger brother Jordan. Wayne Taylor Racing enjoyed a dominant start to 2017, winning a record five-consecutive races to start the season, including the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Ricky has earned 19 wins in prototype competition since 2008.

His first opportunity to work with Team Penske came in February of this year when he tested the Indy car, normally driven by Pagenaud, at the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course.

“It was a great experience getting a chance to test an Indy car with Team Penske, but to get a call from Roger Penske offering the opportunity to drive one of his race cars full time – well, that’s a life-changing opportunity,” said Taylor. “We have had a lot of success in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship the last few seasons with my dad’s team, including winning both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Championship this year. I’m definitely ready for the next challenge in my career and I couldn’t be more excited to join Team Penske and work with Helio, Juan and Dane to launch the new factory Acura effort and start winning with the ARX-05 in 2018.”

In addition to his IMSA racing experience, Taylor has raced in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans four times, with a best finish of 14th overall (2014) and fifth in class (2013).

Known more for his six-career wins with the Verizon IndyCar Series and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Rahal has competed in sports car competition since 2006, primarily filling in as an endurance driver at the longer events like Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta. He was part of the overall winning prototype effort at the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona for Chip Ganassi Racing. He has competed in GT2, GTLM and GTD classes over the course of his sports car career, most recently running an Acura NSX GT3 for Michael Shank Racing at this year’s Rolex 24.

“This will be a dream come true to get to race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring for Roger Penske, someone who not only means a lot to sports car racing, but motorsports in general,” said Rahal. “I’m excited for the opportunity and I really look forward to racing the Acura ARX-05. I’ve been fortunate enough to race with the Acura brand already and had a good time running the Acura NSX at Daytona this past season. It’s exciting to move to an Acura prototype for next year’s Rolex 24. I’m going to do everything I can to help my teammates and hopefully get my second overall win in January.”

Pagenaud has a vast background in sports car competition. The French driver earned 10 American Le Mans Series wins between 2009 and 2013, including a class win in the 2010 Petit Le Mans while racing for Acura. In addition, he earned four wins while driving for Peugeot, including two at Spa and two at Silverstone. He is also a former pole sitter for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

He joined teammates Montoya and Castroneves as Team Penske competed last weekend at the 20th Anniversary Petit Le Mans with an ORECA LMP2. The Team Penske trio won the overall pole for the event and completed all 10 hours, finishing on the podium in the third position.

“I’ve been hoping for the opportunity to work with Team Penske in the endurance races for next year and I’m excited to get the opportunity,” said Pagenaud. “We had a strong first showing at Petit Le Mans last weekend and I feel like the team is on the right track. All of the drivers had some rust to knock off driving these types of cars and the team got a lot of great experience. I love driving sports car and it makes me a better driver over in INDYCAR as well.”

The Acura ARX-05 [Acura Racing eXperimental, generation 5] is the latest in a line of endurance prototypes to be fielded by the company dating back to 1991, just five years after the 1986 launch of the Acura brand. Based on the very successful ORECA 07 chassis, the new ARX-05 prototype features Acura-specific bodywork and utilizes the race-proven, production-based Acura AR35TT twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine.

The multi-year program will be administered by Honda Performance Development, the racing arm for both Acura Motorsports and Honda Racing in North America.

HELIO CASTRONEVES JOINS TEAM PENSKE’S IMSA LINEUP

Source: Team Penske PR

HELIO CASTRONEVES JOINS TEAM PENSKE’S IMSA LINEUP
Legendary Team Penske Driver Set for New Challenge; Will Race in 2018 Indianapolis 500

MOORESVILLE, NC (October 4, 2017) – Team Penske today announced that longtime winning INDYCAR driver Helio Castroneves will join the team’s new Acura Team Penske program that will begin racing in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Castroneves will join previously-announced drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron in racing one of two Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International (DPi) entries next season. Acura Team Penske’s final full-time and endurance drivers will be announced at a later date.

Castroneves will officially return to sport car competition, joining fellow Team Penske drivers Montoya and Simon Pagenaud, at this weekend’s 20th Anniversary Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta driving an ORECA-07. The team will make its competition debut with the new Acura prototype sports cars at IMSA’s 2018 season-opening Rolex 24 race at Daytona in January.

In addition to his sport car duties, Castroneves is expected to continue to compete for Team Penske in next May’s Indianapolis 500 as the popular Brazilian driver continues his quest to become a four-time winner of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“Helio has been a valuable member of Team Penske for almost 20 years and we are looking forward to sharing more success together,” said Roger Penske. “Competitors like Helio, Rick Mears and Mark Donohue are what have made Team Penske what it is today. This represents a new challenge for him and I know he is excited about the opportunity. Having established winning drivers like Helio and Juan, teaming up with young and talented racers that know the series like Dane Cameron, will help give our new sports car program a solid foundation as we head into the 2018 season.”

Castroneves will transition to the Team Penske sports car program after 18 successful seasons with the organization’s Verizon IndyCar Series team. Castroneves finished fourth in this year’s Championship standings, marking the 14th time in his career that he has finished inside the top-five in the season-ending rankings. Over the course of his 20-year INDYCAR career, Castroneves has produced 30 wins and 50 pole positions, including one win and three poles won in 2017.

Considered one of the all-time greats in INDYCAR history, Castroneves has earned more wins than any other driver in the history of Team Penske’s championship open-wheel racing program. He’s produced three victories in the Indianapolis 500, two of which came back-to-back in his first two starts at Indy in 2001 and 2002. He last won at Indianapolis in 2009 and he’s come remarkably close to earning a record-tying fourth Indy 500 win, finishing second two times over the last four seasons.

In addition to his remarkable INDYCAR success, Castroneves has also made five starts for Team Penske in sports car competition as he produced two poles, three podium finishes and a class victory in the 2008 Petit Le Mans event.

“I’ve been fortunate to achieve a lot of my personal goals with Team Penske over the years,” said Castroneves, who is also the longest-tenured driver in team history. “Helping Roger, the team and everyone with Acura start this program and build it from the ground up will be another big challenge and a great opportunity in my career. I am proud of everything we have accomplished together in INDYCAR and now I am focused on helping to develop the ARX-05 to try and win the 24 Hours of Daytona and the IMSA championship in 2018 with Acura.

“I’m also excited to get a chance to race again for Team Penske at the Indianapolis 500. That race is near and dear to my heart and trying to become the fourth four-time winner is something I really want to accomplish in my career. We’ve come so close the last few years and with this team, I know we will have a great opportunity to try and make some history.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES JOINS TEAM PENSKE’S IMSA LINEUP

Legendary Team Penske Driver Set for New Challenge; Will Race in 2018 Indianapolis 500 MOORESVILLE, NC (October 4, 2017) – Team Penske today announced that longtime winning INDYCAR driver Helio Castroneves will join the team’s new Acura Team Penske program that will begin racing in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Castroneves will join previously-announced drivers…

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Penske Notes – Qualifying in Sonoma

JOSEF NEWGARDEN HUM BY VERIZO TEAM PENSKE DALLARA/CHEVROLET GOPRO GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA SONOMA RACEWAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2017   WINNING POLE NOTES   Josef Newgarden won the Verizon P1 Award for Sunday’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma in Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying on Saturday afternoon. This is Newgarden’s first pole of the season and first as a member of the…

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Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

  Track:                       Watkins Glen International Race:                        INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen Date:                         Sept. 3, 2017   No. 1 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud Start: 12th Finish: 9th Status: Running Laps Completed: 60/60 Laps Led: 0 Points Position (deficit): 4th (-34 pts.) Recap: Simon Pagenaud and the No. 1 Menards Chevrolet team was prepared to run Sunday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen…

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Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report – Gateway

      Track:                       Gateway Motorsports Park Race:                        Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Date:                         August 26, 2017     No. 1 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud Start: 4th Finish: 3rd Status: Running Laps Completed: 248/248 Laps Led: 13 Points Position (deficit): 4th (-43 pts.)   Recap: Simon Pagenaud had the inside track to…

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Team Penske Winning Pole Notes – Will Power (Gateway)

WILL POWER #12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE DALLARA/CHEVROLET BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500 GATEWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK AUGUST 25, 2017 WINNING POLE NOTES Will Power won the Verizon P1 Award for Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 in Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying on Friday. This is Power’s sixth pole win of the 2017 season also having won at St. Petersburg,…

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Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report – Mid Ohio

Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report Track:                      Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Race:                       Honda Indy 200 Date:                        July 30, 201   No. 1 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud Start: 7th Finish: 4th Status: Running Laps Completed: 90/90 Laps Led: 0 Points Position (deficit): 4th (-17 pts.)   Recap: Simon Pagenaud’s weekend really hinged…

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WINNING POLE NOTES

WILL POWER No. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE DALLARA/CHEVROLET HONDA INDY 200 MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE JULY 29, 2017 WINNING POLE NOTES Will Power won the Verizon P1 Award for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 in Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying on Saturday. This is Power’s fifth pole win of the 2017 season also having won at St. Petersburg,…

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Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report Track:                      Streets of Toronto Race:                       Honda Indy Toronto Date:                        July 16, 2017  No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud Start:  1st   (10th career INDYCAR pole position) Finish: 5th Status: Running Laps Completed: 85/85 Laps Led: 2 Points Position: 3rd (-19)   Recap: The No. 1…

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