[TSO NOTE: Yes, this is sports car related, but there is a big INDYCAR connection here also, so thought you’d like to see this!]
Pagenaud Returns for Endurance Events Alongside Montoya, Cameron, Taylor and Castroneves
MOORESVILLE, NC (December 7, 2018) – Acura Team Penske announced today that IndyCar Series championship contender and 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi will join the team for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance events at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Rossi, a five-time race winner in the IndyCar Series, will share the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International (Dpi) with fulltime Acura Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor.
Team Penske IndyCar Series driver Simon Pagenaud will return to compete in the endurance events with the team in 2019, racing the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi with full-time racers Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron.
“I have watched and raced against Team Penske in INDYCAR and I have a lot of respect for the organization and what they do and how they do it,” said Rossi. “I really appreciate Andretti Autosport for allowing me the opportunity to represent Acura in some of the biggest sports car races in the world. I can’t wait to work with Helio and Ricky, to learn from them and hopefully contribute to some wins and a championship for Acura Team Penske.”
Though Rossi rose to racing superstardom when he won the 2016 Indianapolis 500 as an INDYCAR rookie, he has long been considered one of the most talented young American drivers. After winning numerous karting championships and the Formula BMW World title as a teenager, Rossi moved to Europe to follow his dream of competing in Formula 1. He found success in both GP3 and GP2 competition before he made five Formula 1 starts for Manor Racing, recording a best finish of 12th. The native of California returned to the states in 2016 to compete for Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar Series. Over the last three seasons, Rossi has produced five INDYCAR victories, including three wins in 2018 as he battled for the championship before finishing second in the series standings.
“Alexander will be a great addition to the Acura Team Penske lineup in 2019 and all of us at Acura are very excited about our prospects for the coming season,” said Art St. Cyr, President of Honda Performance Development. “When you add Alexander to the experienced team of Helio, Ricky, Juan and Dane – and with Simon returning for the endurance events – we are extremely proud of the talented and accomplished Acura Team Penske driver lineup. We look forward to our second opportunity to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the ARX-05. Alexander has been a great representative of Honda in the IndyCar Series, from his Indy 500 victory in 2016 to competing for the title this past season. We are pleased to have this opportunity to build our relationship with him through our sports car program.”
Acura Team Penske returned to sports car competition in 2018 with its two-car Acura DPi program in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. The team produced one victory – with Castroneves and Taylor at the Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course in May – and produced three poles and nine top-five finishes.
The 2019 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship begins with the Roar Before the 24 January 4-6, followed by the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 26.
About Team Penske
Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 500 major race wins, over 570 pole positions and 34 Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. Over the course of its 52-year history, the team has also earned 17 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 Championships, a Formula 1 win and overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Team Penske currently competes in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team also races in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, in a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, as DJR Team Penske. For more information about Team Penske, please visit www.teampenske.com.
Acura is a leading automotive luxury nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance – a
commitment to evocative styling, high performance and innovative engineering, all built on a
foundation of quality and reliability. The Acura lineup features six distinctive models – the RLX
premium luxury sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX sport sedan, the five-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, the seven‐passenger Acura MDX, America’s all‐time bestselling three‐row luxury SUV, and the next‐generation, electrified NSX supercar as the pinnacle expression of Acura Precision Crafted Performance.
About Honda Performance Development
HPD was founded in 1993 to spearhead American Honda’s entry into Indy car racing. No other manufacturer has matched the company’s success in Indy cars, which includes 237 race victories, 16 drivers’ championships, seven competitive manufacturers’ championships and 12 Indianapolis 500 victories since 2004.
HPD, Acura and Honda have a history of success in endurance sports car racing, with more than 100 prototype victories since 1991, including either class or overall victories at the Rolex 24, 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans. Acura and HPD swept all prototype championships in the 2009 American Le Mans Series; and won the North American Endurance Championship manufacturers’ title in 2016. Prior to the founding of HPD in 1993, Acura won 25 races and three consecutive IMSA Camel Lights Championships from 1991-93.
HPD’s Acura and Honda engines have recorded 79 race wins at endurance sports car races around the world, with 71 of those victories coming in the HPD-developed line of sports prototype cars. In less than two years of North American GT3 competition, the Acura NSX GT3 has recorded five races wins and three poles. For more information about HPD and the company’s racing product lines, please visit http://hpd.honda.com.
For More Information
Consumer information is available at http://www.acura.com. To join the Acura community on Facebook, visit http://www.facebook.com/acura. Additional media information including pricing, features and high-resolution photography is available at acuranews.com/channels/acura-automobiles.