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- Feb 9, 2013
One of the worst-kept secrets in a while, right up there with the CGR/Ford GT program, confirmed by Tim Cindric. Most likely to be an Acura/Honda-ORECA effort.
IMSA will welcome two big names to its Daytona Prototype international ranks when a factory Honda DPi effort run by Team Penske enters the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on a full-time basis in 2018.
The move by Honda has been anticipated since the DPi formula was announced, but the return of Team Penske to lead the effort – first mentioned by RACER last August – wavered until recent progress solidified its participation.
Honda declined to comment on the topic when contacted by RACER. Team Penske president Tim Cindric confirmed the team will compete in DPi, but stopped short of naming Honda as its partner.
"We're doing it," he told RACER, "it's just a matter of who it's with."
Multiple sources confirmed the North Carolina-based team has ramped up its planning efforts for the Honda DPi program in the last month as staffing inquiries have been made within open-wheel and sports car racing paddocks, and numerous drivers have also fielded inquiries from the team (or spoken with Penske) regarding opportunities with its new DPi project.
Honda will join existing factory entries from Cadillac, Mazda and Nissan, giving DPi a strong representation from Japanese manufacturers. With Dallara responsible for Cadillac's DPi-V.R, Riley/Multimatic tasked with building Mazda's RT24-P, and Ligier attached to the Nissan Onroak DPi, the lone constructor without a DPi program – France's ORECA – is said to be Honda's chosen supplier.
Asked if it was working with Honda and Penske, an ORECA representative said "no comment" when reached by RACER.