Team Penske DPi program

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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.
.....

Full: http://www.racer.com/imsa/item/138173-penske-honda-imsa-dpi-expected-in-2018
 
This is really good news, but don't get too excited just yet. Their Daytona Prototype program never scored a win, so I don't think they are going to walk in and start winning right away.

Still, we need cars and a high profile team like Penske will only help the series' visibility.

The Rolex was so good that the new cars have already proven to be quite racy. This is only going to get better as the teams get the cars figured out and the series gets the bop right. Right now the Caddy has a bit of an advantage but they have been hit with a bop adjustment.

My bet is on the Riley Gibson to be really fast at Sebring. The car ran well at Daytona in spite of being bog slow on the straight, and their extra downforce will really help them when they get to the slower tracks.
 
Heard on the Marshall Pruett Podcast from 3/02 that JPM has signed a multiyear (possibly three years) extension with Team Penske, presumably to lead the DPi program. Nothing official yet though.
 
It's officially official! The Acura ARX-05 will be formally unveiled at the Monterey Car Week in August. It will be based on the ORECA 07 and utilize the production-based, 3.5L TTV6 AR35TT engine.

Acura, Team Penske Announce Prototype Effort
http://www.teampenske.com/news/index.cfm/c/683/53375/Acura,_Team_Penske_Announce_Prototype_Effort

Acura%20TP.jpg
 
As a fan, I think it is the blend of classes. You can watch cars specifically built to race AND you can watch cars modified for racing but still have much in common with their street car counterparts (including the body style). Much as I love NASCAR, there's little 'stock' left in 'stock cars', and the cars have rarely been well-suited as purely race vehicles.

As a manufacturer, I'm not restricted to developing an irrelevant RWD system and pretending I'm putting it an sedan. I can use cars I actually sell, leveraging the old 'Win on Sunday, sell on Monday' philosophy.
 
That will be fun to watch. Hopefully they will
be able to create the same lightening in a bottle like they
they did in the early 90's when they were IMSA Lites Champions
with Parker Johnstone.
 
Man, IMSA is doing something right. They have so many manufacturers and are attracting new teams at a time when auto racing is on a downslope.

They are also doing a big wrong that's going to hurt them in the long run. They are not requiring manufacturers to sell cars to privateers. Sure, privateers can buy P2 cars, but how many of those have ever won against a DPI? Maybe it's a matter of getting the BOP right, but when they do the manufacturers are going to look rather poorly on getting beat by no-name chassis with a no name motors. How do you think Cadillac is going to react when a no-name P2 car derails their perfect season?

Mazda isn't going to spend all that money if they keep getting beat by an Oreca or Riley-Gibson. That plays badly at the board meetings on Monday mornings. History is full of manufacturers pulling the plug the moment they can't win any more.

Add to that, how do you balance a manufacturer class (DPI) and a privateer class (P2)? Is the inequity in the equipment or the teams? Do you penalize the DPI manufacturers (who are spending tons) to keep the privateers (who are spending considerably less) in the fight? This is as unfair to the manufacturers as it is to the privateers who won't be able to buy competitive equipment. You can't balance that. All you can do is assure equal access, and then a good privateer can win if they out-execute the factory teams.

Also remember that manufacturers have always and will always come and go on a whim. They drive the cost of competing through the roof, and all is fine as long as they are winning. When that stops, suddenly it becomes "too expensive," sort of like that magnificent four car LMP1 field we have in the WEC.

To have a truly healthy series we need manufacturers, but we also need to keep the privateers in the game and competitive. IMSA needs to require each manufacturer to supply (or sell) a certain amount of cars to privateers. Otherwise we will end up with an all manufacture series that is subject to their demands, and the possibility (probability) they will bail when things get a little rough for them.

Even if the privateers remain long-shots, at least with equal access to equipment they will have enough of a chance to win that they will stay in the game, and that means fuller fields. Once the manufacturers get rolling, no P2 privateer team will have even a remote chance, and you cant expect them to hang around with those sort of odds.


Can't wait to see what happens when auto racing starts becoming more popular again.

It's like a lot of other things. Model aviation is in the doldrums because the kids don't think it's cool any more. They are more interested in what's on their cell phones that anything that's real, and this is showing up with less guys at the field (with more and more hobby shops closing up), especially with the guys who grew up flying model airplanes now dying off.

Auto racing is facing the same thing, compounded by the climate changers decreeing cars as evil, uncool, and the great destroyer of the planet. Hell, kids don't even want a car any more because they would rather ride and peer at their phone. Sometimes I watch these kids and they are so glued to their device they don't even notice girls. How twisted is that?

I don't thing there is anything wrong enough with auto racing to make it unpopular. I just think people are changing and they are more interested in their matrix interface.
 
... Model aviation is in the doldrums because the kids don't think it's cool any more. They are more interested in what's on their cell phones that anything that's real, and this is showing up with less guys at the field (with more and more hobby shops closing up), especially with the guys who grew up flying model airplanes now dying off....
I assume drones are filling the model aviation niche these days.
 
Hey, I know it's awfully early, but has anyone heard anything about drivers yet? I ask because today's Xfinity race at Mid-Ohio reminded me that Roger still has a good working relationship with Sam Hornish Jr.

Just a stray thought.
 
Hey, I know it's awfully early, but has anyone heard anything about drivers yet? I ask because today's Xfinity race at Mid-Ohio reminded me that Roger still has a good working relationship with Sam Hornish Jr.

Just a stray thought.
This isn't confirmed or anything but what I've seen from a couple of writers is that two full-time drivers will be chosen by Penske (JPM, Helio most likely) and two will be chosen by HPD. But who knows. And then you still have the NAEC seats to fill.
 
It looks a lot better with the headlights and graphics on it. The lights make the front wing look less tacked-on and more like an integrated part of the car than before. It would have probably looked better if they didn't blacked out the splitter, but they didn't ask me.
 
Prevailing rumor right now is that the other full-time pairing will be Ricky Taylor and Helio.
 
Prevailing rumor right now is that the other full-time pairing will be Ricky Taylor and Helio.
Ricky Taylor???

I have the last two WeatherTech races on DVR and haven't seen them yet. Is Ricky's decision to leave the family team related to something that happens in those races, or is it something you can tell me without a spoiler alert?
 
Ricky Taylor???

I have the last two WeatherTech races on DVR and haven't seen them yet. Is Ricky's decision to leave the family team related to something that happens in those races, or is it something you can tell me without a spoiler alert?
Nah, just a natural progression of his career. Penske tested him in an Indy car at Homestead earlier this year so he's probably had his eye on him and liked what he saw.
 
Yeah, I am really going to hate when the brothers are going at it on track some day.
Its going to take some getting use to. I have seen them sitting at the same autograph
table ,cutting up, their whole career.
 
Yeah, I am really going to hate when the brothers are going at it on track some day.
Its going to take some getting use to.

Certainly with these two. The seem to be so close it's hard to imagine them battling it out.

I have seen them sitting at the same autograph table ,cutting up, their whole career.

I know the lure of going to Penske has got to be irresistible, but leaving Dad's team and your own brother would be a hell of a move. About all I can think is maybe Wayne is behind the whole. He seems to have done a pretty good job of managing their careers so far.
 
Yeah, that's a good point about dad. Penske has a LOT of avenues to grow in to.
I will ask Jordan at Petit who is in line for the seat. I am sure I will get a "stay tuned".
 
Yeah, that's a good point about dad. Penske has a LOT of avenues to grow in to.
I will ask Jordan at Petit who is in line for the seat. I am sure I will get a "stay tuned".
Or a "Seats? SEATS? We don' have no steenkin open seats! <wink wink nudge nudge>"
 
Oh I hear ya Charlie. Be cool to get a big name in it though. Doubt Angelelli is coming out of retirement for it.
 
Certainly with these two. The seem to be so close it's hard to imagine them battling it out.



I know the lure of going to Penske has got to be irresistible, but leaving Dad's team and your own brother would be a hell of a move. About all I can think is maybe Wayne is behind the whole. He seems to have done a pretty good job of managing their careers so far.
I think it was maybe the final year of Grand-Am they drove against each other; Jordan was in Wayne's car and Ricky was driving for Visit Florida/Spirit of Daytona. But obviously they weren't as established in their careers yet; I think that was Jordan's first year in prototypes. But now they're stars, as good as they've ever been, smacked the field together this year, so it's going to be interesting if that's the route Ricky takes.
 
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