Cindric confirms Team Penske’s continued interest in Le Mans

President of Team Penske Tim Cindric has given the broadest hint yet that the squad’s sportscar program will continue, with an eye firmly on the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Cindric confirms Team Penske’s continued interest in Le Mans

This morning, Acura and Team Penske announced that their partnership in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will end with the season-closing 12 Hours of Sebring in November.

The team has so far scored four wins, and the Juan Pablo Montoya/Dane Cameron combo won the Prototype title last year. However, to the extreme disappointment of both parties, they have yet to win either the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona or the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, two ‘jewels in the crown’ of IMSA racing.

Said Cindric: “We are proud of the efforts that our organizations have put forth together over the last three seasons, but we simply couldn’t align on how we should go racing in the future.” 

However, he then added: “Sports car racing has always been a big part of the heritage of Team Penske and we are certainly interested in going to Le Mans one day with the right partner under the right circumstances.”

Penske-Porsche link-up?

#5 Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder: Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe

#5 Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder: Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe

Photo by: Richard Sloop

There has been much speculation surrounding the team’s future in sportscar racing with legendary team owner Roger Penske having long expressed a desire to return to Le Mans when the time was right. In January, that desire appeared to gain focus following the announcement of the convergence of WEC and IMSA rules, and Penske spoke openly about a third attempt on Europe’s round-the-clock classic

Porsche appears to be favorite, given the marque’s successful history with Penske, both in Can-Am in the early 1970s, and also with the LMP2 RS Spyder in IMSA from 2005 through ’08.

Two months after the Rolex 24 Hours, Porsche admitted it was evaluating an entry for the LMDh rules.

The motorsport landscape has shifted since then, and the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic was cited in Porsche’s decision to pull its hugely successful GT Le Mans-class team out of IMSA at year’s end. There also remains considerable doubts over the 911 RSR-19’s future in WEC’s equivalent category, GTE Pro.

Yet with Porsche regarding success in competition as vital to its marketing around the world for the past 50 years, it is thought unlikely that it would simply cease having a ‘works’ presence in the world’s two most prestigious sportscar championships.

Partnering with Penske to run a U.S.-based LMDh operation but also having The Captain's squad participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans to supplement Porsche's potential full-time WEC entries would appear to make sense.

shares
comments
Ginetta won't continue factory WEC effort into 2021
Previous article

Ginetta won't continue factory WEC effort into 2021

Next article

ByKolles completes Le Mans line-up with Webb

ByKolles completes Le Mans line-up with Webb
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Prime

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Prime

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, are arguably the greatest sportscars of all time.

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Prime

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return Prime

The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return

The Peugeot 9X8 will make its FIA World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend. The French manufacturer has gone radical and will be hoping it doesn’t need to overhaul its contender, as it did with its first Le Mans challenger…

WEC
Jul 8, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans Prime

How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future Prime

How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Prime

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Motorsport.com hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022
The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory Prime

The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory

Peugeot went radical with the initial plan for its Le Mans Hypercar project, and then stuck to its guns. Here’s how things are shaping up a few weeks before the debut of the 9X8 in next month's Monza World Endurance Championship round

WEC
Jun 1, 2022