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Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report – Barber

Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report
Track:                  Barber Motorsports Park
Race:                   Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Date:                   April 23, 2018

 

No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 1st (3rd-career INDYCAR pole)
Finish: 1st (9th-career INDYCAR win)
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 73
Points Standings (ahead of second): 1st (+13)

Notes:

  • Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet began the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park on the pole, his third-career INDYCAR pole.
  • The race ran over the course of two days due to rain postponing the Sunday afternoon race event to be completed Monday afternoon.
  • Even though there were numerous red and yellow flags and a mixture of weather, Newgarden proved to be consistent and strong, at one point leading by over 25 seconds.
  • Newgarden led an impressive 73 out of 82 laps. Only one other driver paced the field over the course of two days.
  • With just 14 minutes remaining in the race, Tim Cindric called the No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet to the pits for fuel and rain tires after the light rain again began to fall.
  • This marked Josef Newgarden’s third-career win at Barber Motorsports Park. It was his second win of the season.
  • The Tennessee-born driver takes the Verizon IndyCar Series points lead back from Alexander Rossi. He leads by 13 points.
  • His win at the Alabama road course marks Team Penske’s 199 INDYCAR win heading into the Month of May at Indianapolis.

Quote:  “That was more eventful than I would have liked. But everybody did a great job. How about Team Chevy today – they gave us a great engine, good fuel mileage and good reliability, and that’s what we needed to win this race. It’s great having Hitachi – we got Verizon a victory, now we got Hitachi a victory, so thank you guys. Everyone at Team Penske did a great job, but like I said, that was more eventful than I wanted it. It would seem like smooth sailing for the most part, we didn’t have any yellows, which we were hoping no yellows today, but then the rain crept in. I couldn’t believe how long everyone stayed out. It was really risky what they were doing, but I understand why there were doing it. I’m glad we made the call to come in so soon.”

 

No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 2nd
Finish: 21st
Status: Retired
Laps Completed: 53/82
Laps Led: 0
Points Standings (behind first): 10th (-77)

Notes:

  • Will Power started his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet in the second position for this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park.
  • Power had a strong start to the road course event, running second to teammate Josef Newgarden early on.
  • Unfortunately, Power fell victim to wet weather conditions and spun into the wall on lap 12 under torrential rains Sunday.
  • By lap 26, INDYCAR had decided to display the red flag for weather conditions. By this time, the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet had already made its way to the garage for repairs.
  • Due to INDYCAR rules, the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet could not work on the car following the red flag on Sunday. This halted efforts to prepare the car to return to race-ready conditions until the green flag waved once again on Monday.
  • While the team did return to competition, it did not complete the event as the team decided to retire from the race early due to weather conditions once it began to rain heavily again on Monday.

Quote:  “It’s just a real shame for everyone on the Verizon Chevy team. The car was good and we were doing our best out there but it was really hard to see anything in front of me. The conditions were just so bad. As soon as I got to the front straight the car just came around and I tried to keep it off the wall but it was hydroplaning and there was nothing I could do. I feel bad for the team and for the fans in this weather. Just too bad. Hopefully our luck can turn around when we get to Indianapolis.”

 

No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 9th
Finish: 9th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 0
Points Standings (behind first): 15th (-92)

Notes:

  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet began the road course race at Barber Motorsports Park in the ninth position.
  • After rain ended the day early on Sunday at lap 26, Pagenaud found himself in the 14th position following an early pit stop.
  • Beginning the resumed race on Monday on primary tires, Pagenaud was able to make up a lot of ground quickly and advance to the 10th spot as just over an hour remained in the race.
  • With less than 40 minutes remaining, the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet was serviced on pit road to obtain alternate tires, fuel and a front wing adjustment. This pit stop helped Pagenaud move to a race high of seventh with 17 minutes remaining in the event.
  • As weather conditions changed once again to heavy rain, the French driver returned to pit road for fuel and rain tires.
  • He eventually finished ninth in the event. He is now 15th in Verizon IndyCar Series point standings, 92 points behind leader and teammate Josef Newgarden.

Quote:  “We had a pretty good race going and I think we potentially could have been a top five. I was very frustrated with Gabby (Chavez). He was two laps down. And I just got stuck behind him, which gave an opportunity to (Scott) Dixon as I was trying everything I could to make it happen. But, it’s a real shame because when it’s not your day, it’s just not your day. You’ll have better days later, but you won’t have everybody on your side when you have a good day. And at the moment he doesn’t have you on his side, let me tell you. But, it’s a real shame. I think the Menards 22 was really from where we started. The strategy to go on rain (tires) when we went on rain was a good choice and yeah, I thought it was a really good pace. We just started from too far back.”

Team Penske Infographic – Celebrating 2,500 Races

TSO NOTE: Hoping this graphic formats right. Cool info from Team Penske. If it is NOT readable, head HERE to view on their website: http://www.teampenske.com/news/index.cfm/a/690/53615/Team_Penske%20Infographic%20-%202500%20Starts  …

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Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report – Phoenix

Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

 

Track:   ISM Raceway   

Race:    Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix

Date:    April 7, 2018    

 

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 7th

Finish: 1st

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 250/250

Laps Led: 30

 

Notes:

  • Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet began the Verizon IndyCar Series Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix in the seventh position.
  • After Pietro Fittipaldi brought out the caution flag on lap 41, Newgarden pitted a few laps later on lap 43. Great pit work on the stop allowed him to restart second.
  • For much of the race, the Tennessean maintained a top-10 position while battling his way toward the front.
  • On lap 208, Newgarden was able to take over the lead until pitting on lap 233 for fuel and tires.
  • Once the green flag waved, Newgarden fought Robert Wickens for the final laps of the race and ultimately was the victor.
  • His win marks Team Penske’s 198 IndyCar win.
  • Prior to Josef Newgarden’s win at ISM Raceway, Ryan Blaney won the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway making it the second win for Team Penske on the same day.
  • The win at ISM Raceway also marks Team Penske’s 105 oval win.
  • This win also marked Bridgestone’s 500th win since the tire supplier reentered the sport in 1995.

 

Quote:  “I think the thing is, Tim (Cindric) really knew what was going on. We kind of got undercut on the second pit stop sequence. A lot of guys got in front of us because we went long. I think our team, they knew what happened there, so we just flipped the script and basically jumped everyone on the last stop and that got us ahead. Then we had the fuel mileage from Chevy, which was awesome, able to finish it off. Good strategy calls tonight, and great in the pits. The pit stops are really what won this race as well, the execution there.”

 

No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 3rd

Finish: 22nd

Status: Accident

Laps Completed: 153/250

Laps Led: 80

 

Notes:

  • Will Power started his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet in the third position in Saturday night’s Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix for the Verizon IndyCar Series (VICS) at ISM Raceway.
  • Early in the event, Power lost the third position before settling into fourth.
  • Team strategist Roger Penske called off a front-wing adjustment during the first pit stop of the day to pick up valuable track position, resulting in Power restarting from the lead on lap 50.
  • In what was shaping up to be a good battle between Power and teammate Josef Newgarden for the win never got the chance to materialize as Power made contact with the outside wall on lap 153.
  • The 2014 VICS champion was forced into the second groove that was covered with tire marbles and he was unable to control his No. 12 Chevrolet at that point. The incident forced Power to retire from the race.

 

Quote:  “I was having a good race, actually. I felt like we had a pretty good Verizon Chevy. (Alexander) Rossi ran up on the inside of me pretty late and I got on the brakes once I saw him go to the inside because I knew the marbles were pretty bad. I was going pretty slow and still got up into the wall because it was like being on ice. Disappointed for the guys but we will just have to move on, have a couple of good races and get back in the hunt. I am determined for Long Beach, Barber, the Indy road course and the Indy 500. Happy to see Josef (Newgarden) in Victory Lane tonight though.”

 

No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 2nd

Finish: 10th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 250/250

Laps Led: 3

 

Notes:

  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet began the 250-lap oval event on the front row in the second position.
  • On Pagenaud’s first pit stop on lap 43, he overshot the pit stop box and had to move back into place to pit for four tires, fuel and one turn down on the rear wing. Unfortunately, this place the French-born driver further in the pack which made it difficult to recover for the remainder of the race.
  • Due to an understeer issue once he was caught in the pack, Pagenaud ultimately settled for a 10th-place finish.

 

Quote:  “We practiced on pit road all weekend long and, I don’t know, for some reason it was super slippery tonight. I was honestly taking it easy on pit road because I knew that I had good track position and a good car. There was no need to push the limits. There was nothing I could have done differently in that situation. In fact, I’ve been replaying over in my head and I would have done the same thing every time. It is what it is and we got shuffled back and had to make the best of it, but the car had too much understeer. I couldn’t get rid of it. It was better at the end of the race, but it was too late at that point. Congrats to Josef (Newgarden) and Team Penske on getting a win early in the season. A little disappointed and frustrated though because we had a good Menards Chevrolet this weekend.”

Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying Report

Track:                  ISM Raceway Race:                   Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix Date:                   April 6, 2018 No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden Position:            7th Time:                  39.7152 Speed:                185.279 mph No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power Position:           3rd Time:                 39.3808 Speed:               186.852 mph No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud Position:            2nd Time:                  39.1096 Speed:                188.148 mph Fastest Time:    39.0285…

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Team Penske Verizon INDYCAR Series Race Report

Track:                  Streets of St. Petersburg Race:                   Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Date:                   March 11, 2018 No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden Start: 13th Finish: 7th Status: Running Laps Completed: 110/110 Laps Led: 0 Points Position (behind leader): 7th (-25)  Notes:  Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet began the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the…

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TEAM PENSKE FORMS TECHNICAL PARTNERSHIP WITH SIEMENS

TEAM PENSKE FORMS TECHNICAL PARTNERSHIP WITH SIEMENS

Siemens to Support Team Penske’s NASCAR, INDYCAR and Supercar Programs

 

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (February 22, 2018) – Announced today, Team Penske and Siemens, a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, have entered into a new technical partnership. Under the multi-year agreement, Siemens will help enhance Team Penske’s performance with full access to a wide variety of software products to enable advanced digital design and simulations. Team Penske race teams will utilize Siemens’ software across their computer-aided design (CAD), engineering, simulation and machining platforms. Utilizing this software, Team Penske can create a digital twin of their race cars, which can help engineers simulate engine configurations, innovate new parts and predict race results in real-time.

“Team Penske is excited to welcome Siemens as a key technical partner, beginning with the 2018 season,” said Roger Penske. “Siemens is a company and a brand that is known worldwide for its superior technology and engineering. Our teams will benefit from Siemens’ expertise and support and we look forward to helping grow the Siemens footprint in the world of motorsports.”

Team Penske is partnering with Siemens PLM Software to adopt an integrated virtual environment for digital modeling and simulation. Siemens’ PLM tools allow Team Penske to keep large amounts of data well organized and accessible for review by anyone within the team, and also enables engineers to quickly iterate through design concepts with the digital twin to arrive at near-optimum solutions within a high-intensity, short timeframe environment. The digital twin is the key to making effective, data-driven design changes at a very rapid pace, and thus, helping improve the results at the racetrack every week.

“We are proud to team up with Team Penske, an American icon in motorsports. As a racing team with extremely challenging requirements on development time and accuracy, Team Penske will be able to fully leverage the unique capabilities of our software solutions,” said Lisa Davis, Managing Board member of Siemens and CEO of Siemens USA. “Our integrated industry solutions, combined with the expertise of the entire design and racing team from Team Penske, will help create world-class vehicles.

Utilizing Siemens’ PLM tools allows Team Penske to quickly analyze thousands of electronic data streams full of critical on-track performance information, and apply changes to the race car’s digital twin. These changes are then reviewed for performance and durability in a virtual environment, which allows low-cost, high fidelity simulation of the results. With Siemens’ technology, Team Penske is able to capitalize on this streamlined digital process and quickly transition to the physical stages of manufacturing, quality assurance, installation onto the race car, and validate performance in the physical environment. This entire process can be completed with high-impact components in as little as a few hours.

“We are excited to partner with Team Penske and be a part of their strong legacy of championship racing,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, president, and CEO, Siemens PLM Software. “We look forward to supporting Team Penske with our software to help streamline designs, speed results, and deliver the most successful racing teams yet.”

The partnership will also include Siemens as an associate sponsor on the Team Penske cars competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series, the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. Siemens branding will be featured on all Team Penske Indy cars and on the uniforms worn by Team Penske drivers and teams competing in NASCAR.

The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season began last weekend with the 60th running of the Daytona 500, where Team Penske cars earned fourth- and seventh-place finishes.  The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins on the Streets of St. Petersburg in Florida on Sunday, March 11.

Source: Team PR

TEAM PENSKE EXTENDS PARTNERSHIP WITH TUNGALOY

Multi-Year Relationship to Enhance Production Technologies MOORESVILLE, N.C. (January 29, 2018) – Team Penske and Tungaloy have announced an extension of their partnership for 2018 and beyond. As part of the multi-year agreement, Tungaloy, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of carbide cutting tools, friction materials, wear resistant items and civil engineering products, will continue as a team…

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HITACHI TO CONTINUE TEAM PENSKE PARTNERSHIP IN 2018 Multi-Faceted Relationship to Enter Seventh Season with Championship INDYCAR Program

HITACHI TO CONTINUE TEAM PENSKE PARTNERSHIP IN 2018

Multi-Faceted Relationship to Enter Seventh Season with Championship INDYCAR Program

 

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (January 15, 2018) – Team Penske and Hitachi Group today announced an extension of their partnership for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

After a productive five-year relationship working with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves of Team Penske, the familiar Hitachi branding will transition to the No. 1 Dallara/Chevrolet of reigning INDYCAR champion Josef Newgarden for eight races in the 2018 season.

Additionally, Hitachi will continue as an associate sponsor on Team Penske’s other Verizon IndyCar Series entries – the Dallara/Chevrolets driven by Simon Pagenaud, the 2016 series champion and Will Power, the 2014 title winner, along with a return to Castroneves’ No. 3 car for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

“Our partnership with Hitachi continues to deliver for both organizations across a wide variety of business platforms,” said Roger Penske. “Hitachi is deeply involved in our on-track performance as they continue to collaborate with Chevrolet on its winning INDYCAR engine program. Away from the race track, our relationship continues to reach new heights with shared success through various automotive and technology projects, along with joint marketing and promotional initiatives. We are excited to build on this success in 2018.”

Hitachi and Team Penske began their partnership in 2012 and it has evolved into one of the successful pairings in the INDYCAR paddock. The industry leaders have aligned for race wins, podium finishes and pole positions and the future is bright with Newgarden, one of the fastest rising stars in motorsports.

“Over the course of my first season with Team Penske, I was able to witness this great partnership firsthand,” said Newgarden, who earned four wins, one pole and nine podium finishes en route to his first series championship in 2017. “I look forward to working with all of the Hitachi employees and partners as we try and build on the tremendous framework of success already in place.”

The activation strategy around the Hitachi Team Penske partnership includes event marketing and execution at key automotive events and industry shows across the globe, to go along with unique at-track experiences and creative social media integration with Hitachi and its partners.

“The sponsorship with Team Penske continues to provide the Hitachi Group with a tremendous opportunity to leverage the success of a great IndyCar racing team, as well as to partner with a global leader in transportation and logistics – Penske Corporation,” said Toshiaki Higashihara, President & CEO, Hitachi, Ltd. “Since 2012, Hitachi has been able to leverage its technology and applications experience, along with data analytics expertise to help Penske build a successful racing team and also optimize other aspects of their business.” “Partnering with Penske puts Hitachi in a strong position to continue to build our global brand around Hitachi’s Social Innovation Business,” he continued.

“We are very excited to continue our partnership with Team Penske in 2018,” said Hideaki Seki, President & CEO for Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd., . “Finishing in four of the top five positions in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series final standings and earning a 15th series championship illustrates Team Penske’s commitment to excellence. Hitachi shares the same drive and determination to be the best.”

The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins on the Streets of St. Petersburg in Florida on Sunday, March 11.

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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.”

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    • Here’s who won the race between Formula 1 and IndyCar in Long Beach
      In October last year the city released a request for proposals seeking “an open-wheel auto racing format” to run the annual Grand Prix event. From the start it was only a two-horse race between Michaelian and Pook. Pook, of course, was hardly a carpetbagger. He founded the Long Beach Grand Prix in 1975 and brought […]
    • Q&A: Printup talks future of WGI, IndyCar, Phish
      Everybody was excited, but I take a lot of personal interest in IndyCar. I always have. I kind of grew up in IndyCar, so I was glad that we were able to get them back. The fans themselves, for only having a little bit less than 90 days to sell the race last year, we […]
    • Rick Mears – still the ultimate pro at 65
      Over the past 20-something years writing about racing, I’ve encountered three people from whom I learn something about the art of racecar driving every time we speak for longer than five minutes. One of that trio is Rick Ravon Mears, born this day 65 years ago in Wichita, Kansas, and brought up in Bakersfield, Calif. […]
    • Memoir helps widow cope after IndyCar driver's death
      Tonya Bergeson-Dana talks with her son, Conor, about his father when he brings it up, which is often. If he’s asking the questions, she reasons, he’s ready to hear the answers. Paul Conor Dana, at age 9, knows that his father was Paul Dana, a journalist and IndyCar driver who died in March 2006 during […]