One of the biggest names in American motorsports is returning to sports prototype racing, and it’s bringing a major automaker back into the fold to do it, too.
Acura and Team Penske have announced a new partnership that will see the former introduce a new Daytona prototype for the latter to campaign in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship starting next year.
Dubbed the ARX-05, the new DPi chassis will be the successor to the ARX-04b, ARX-03, ARX-02a, and ARX-01 from Honda Performance Development that have competed under various banners and in various sports prototype racing classes over the years over the past decade.
It won’t be Penske’s first foray into the format, either. The team first entered the 24 Hours of Daytona may back in 1966, and most recently fielded the Porsche RS Spyder in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series.
Penske’s also competed in Can-Am, Trans-Am, NASCAR, Australia’s V8 Supercars, and even F1, but name is arguably better known for its long history in IndyCars, where it stands as the winningest team in the history of the Indy 500 with 16 wins.
Partnering with Acura on this latest endeavor is no coincidence, either. Penske’s auto dealer group already runs half a dozen Acura dealerships across the country, and another 15 Honda dealers. The team also ran Honda engines in CART and IRL until 2012 (when it switched to Chevy power), winning three IndyCar Series titles and two Indy 500s with the Japanese automaker’s engines.
The new fifth-generation Acura/HPD prototype is being built around the sanctioned Oreca 07 chassis and powered by Acura’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, and is scheduled to be unveiled in Monterey next month.