Penske admits WEC hypercar interest, but prefers DPi platform

Legendary American racing team boss Roger Penske says his powerhouse organisation has “looked at” the FIA World Endurance Championship’s new hypercar regulations, as he seeks to fulfil his dream of racing once again at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Penske admits WEC hypercar interest, but prefers DPi platform

Penske has raced twice at Le Mans: once as a driver in 1963 (pictured below), and then as a team owner in ’71 – running Ferraris on both occasions.

#10 North American Racing Team Ferrari 330LM TRI: Pedro Rodriguez, Roger Penske, get away first at the start

#10 North American Racing Team Ferrari 330LM TRI: Pedro Rodriguez, Roger Penske, get away first at the start

Photo by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch

With new rules scheduled to be implemented from 2020, it would allow 82-year-old Penske a shot at overall Le Mans victory, if it was to run cars built by a suitable manufacturer.

“We’ve looked at it,” said Penske when asked by Motorsport.com. “It’s the one thing that I’d say is a target that we have up there, we’d like to go to Le Mans and compete there.

“But we’ve got to go with the right stuff. I don’t know yet. They said they were going to do it for a certain amount of money but what I’m hearing is that target isn’t what they expected it to be.

“I think you wanna see what’s going to happen. We’re not ready to go at this point. We’d have to look at changing up some things and who we’d align ourselves with. It’s supposed to be super [sports]cars, so we don’t really know what’s going to happen.”

Penske is currently contesting the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a pair of Acura cars in its headline DPi class, racing against machinery from Cadillac, Nissan and Mazda. Along with his long-time team president Tim Cindric, Penske believes DPi would provide a perfect platform if it was adopted on a global basis.

“We’ve talked about DPi, but I don’t think they [the WEC rulemakers] want it,” said Penske. “That’s the problem. Then they’d have 10 or 11 or 12 manufacturers coming in at that point. But they’re just not interested in that, from what we understand.”

A clearly exasperated Cindric added: “That [DPi] discussion isn’t even worth spending time on. But that’s what it should be.”

Although he has stated in the past that his goal would be overall victory, Penske indicated that he would enter in a lower class division to gain experience before taking on the top class.

He said: “What we would do, if we were going to go run there at some point, we’d go run a year ahead of time in some GT car, just to learn. It’s like a golfer needing to play a new course a couple of times. There’s a lot of nuances at Le Mans, just like there is at Indy.”

shares
comments
Project 1 in race against time after Sebring fire

Previous article

Project 1 in race against time after Sebring fire

Next article

Sebring WEC: Toyota under lap record again in FP1

Sebring WEC: Toyota under lap record again in FP1
Load comments
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and was considered the heavy favourite to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen.

Le Mans
Aug 15, 2021