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Penske Evaluating Petit Le Mans Entry

Team Penske evaluating Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 effort for Petit Le Mans…

Photo: ORECA

Team Penske could get a jump start on its planned re-entry into prototype competition later this year, with the team investigating a possible end-of-season run at the Motul Petit Le Mans.

Multiple sources have indicated to Sportscar365 that Penske is looking to enter an Oreca 07 Gibson in the ten-hour IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale, potentially with a lineup featuring its IndyCar star drivers, ahead of the team’s yet-to-be-announced DPi program in 2018.

It’s understood the team has already taken delivery of an Oreca LMP2 car, which has been used for evaluation purposes as it ramps up efforts for its likely factory deal with Honda, which is set to utilize the French constructor’s chassis.

Team Penske President Tim Cindric, who attended last weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, said that a decision on a potential Petit Le Mans effort has not yet been made.

“This is something that we have considered but we won’t be sure whether it is feasible until we better understand the status of our core program,” Cindric told Sportscar365.

“I’m sure this discussion surfaced after I attended The Glen and inquired with IMSA about some of the requirements.”

Penske’s Porsche RS Spyder effort featured a similar launch strategy, which saw the team and car debut in the American Le Mans Series season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2005, prior to a full two-car effort the following year.

The team went on to claim three consecutive LMP2 championships, followed by a jump to Grand-Am in 2009 for a single season, with the famed open-wheel and NASCAR squad not having mounted a sports car racing program since.

It’s believed a formal announcement on Penske’s DPi plans will likely be made later this summer.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Chris Moncado

    July 5, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Can’t wait to hear Marshall Pruetts rebuttal from the Country Kitchen Buffet

    • X

      July 5, 2017 at 9:21 am


    • tracer

      July 5, 2017 at 2:31 pm


  2. David James Baltazar

    July 5, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Why do you continue to postulate this idea of Penske returning?

    • someone

      July 5, 2017 at 9:45 am

      for the same reason everyone else does?

      • NaBUru38

        July 5, 2017 at 7:25 pm

        “We won’t be sure whether it is feasible until we better understand the status of our core program

        I attended The Glen and inquired with IMSA about some of the requirements”

        That’s why.

    • Ryan

      July 5, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Why would Penske want to run Audi’s?
      Why would Penske buy a PS2

  3. Nevil Clavain

    July 5, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Penske-HPD program will not be happening.

    • Chris

      July 5, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      They sure are doing some hiring in moorseville….

  4. Mo

    July 5, 2017 at 9:12 am

    At Nevil- and your source is???????

    • Honey Ham

      July 5, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      History, most likely.

  5. amlv20

    July 5, 2017 at 11:29 am

    classic dagys click bait,would do this shit even back on believe a word he says,penske isn’t happening and neither is joest audi.stop reporting rumors!

    • John Winter

      July 5, 2017 at 11:55 am

      So why do you come to this website then?

      • tracer

        July 5, 2017 at 2:11 pm

        Because children can’t help themselves, and haters gone hate.

    • Ryan

      July 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      What do you mean click bait?
      They already took delivery of an LMP2 CAR.
      Like what?

      • Honey Ham

        July 5, 2017 at 1:39 pm

        It’s pure rumor and conjecture.

        That makes it clickbait.

        It wouldn’t be clickbait if it actually had quotes from a Penske source saying that will be here in 2018 and are shooting for PLM this year.

        None of that happened.

        • Welp

          July 5, 2017 at 1:49 pm

          So Marshall P. And radio le mans is full of crap too on this according to you.

          • John

            July 5, 2017 at 6:20 pm

            Nah, maybe the Caddy fans are afraid of what will happen when they get some real competition in P.

            The Oreca is a good car, HPD should be able to provide a good engine, and Penske…is Penske.

            Montoya and HCN are older, but no slouches. Add Pageneud, Power and Newgarden for the endurance races.

          • NaBUru38

            July 5, 2017 at 7:36 pm

            Dagys, Pruett, Goodwin, Wikipedia, they all are FAKE NEWS, believe me, they are a bunch of liers like you’ve never seen.

            A trustworthy source, the best one, told me that Penske will enter three Dacia Lodgy GTLM with a W16 17.0L Diesel engine. No turbos, intercoolers, injection or any of that treehugger crap. It’s nicknamed Da Di Penske. You read it here first.

        • Andy Flinn

          July 5, 2017 at 11:33 pm

          Honey, you’re the one pushing the BS.

          Stop reading into this story what isn’t there.

          Hint. Read the headline.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 5, 2017 at 11:29 pm

      Yeah, the “experts” said Penske would never race a DP, either.

      • CD

        July 6, 2017 at 9:10 am

        Probably why they quit afterwards too.

        • Jeff Wagner

          July 6, 2017 at 4:11 pm

          We all know that except Mr. “Grand-Am” Andy Flinn.

      • thomas

        July 6, 2017 at 11:04 am

        that was a retrograde step from the glorious Porsche RS Spyder

        • Jeff Wagner

          July 6, 2017 at 4:09 pm

          Thomas Don’t tell Andy Flinn that, it will hurt his feelings! He would tell Roger Penske and Tim Cindric to their faces moving to a DP after the Porsche RS Spyder was a move up in technology and class. You’re speaking to the Andy Flinn the worlds #1 and only remaining Grand-Am and DP supporter. There only ever were 5,467.

    • NorthSask

      July 8, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      Well, Marshall Pruett and Robin Miller from RACER are not only reporting the same program, but have also tabbed Helio Castroneves as one of the drivers. Tim Cindric also said “it looks like the sportscar thing is going to happen.” So, this article seems a far cry from baseless rumor spreading…

  6. Jenner

    July 5, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Honda hasn’t been doing well in the engine dept. Just ask Alonzo.

    • Ryan

      July 5, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Dpi is powered by street based engines. So it would probably use a NSX engine.
      Which is doing fine.

    • tracer

      July 5, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      Not only did a Honda win the 500, but I’m pretty sure a Honda lump was in the back of last year’s 24 hours of Daytona and 12 hours of Sebring winners… and since that’s the engine that would be sourced for the Penske DPi, that track record seems to be a little more relevant than your wink wink to Honda’s issues in F1.

      • pierre

        July 5, 2017 at 1:46 pm

        in all fairness.. Honda did admit they could not guarantee the reliability of the Honda powered cars. Evidence shown with several of them dropping like flies in the race. Honda just had enough bullets in the gun just to finish the race and thankfully win it.

        • tracer

          July 5, 2017 at 2:24 pm

          All true, but in the context of an article on a Penske Honda DPi, I think Indycar and F1 are equally irrelevant when discussing the viability of a Honda poweplant when the very engine to be used in the DPi raced and won the two longest events on the IMSA calendar.

          My overall point in response to the original comment is that if one feels the need to pile on Honda, keep it to where it’s warranted.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 5, 2017 at 11:36 pm

      Two wins for Acura (Honda) in GTD so far.

      • Jeff Wagner

        July 6, 2017 at 4:17 pm

        It’s the ONLY thing Mr. “Grand-Am” Andy Flinn has left to hold onto now. The close racing and advanced technology in GTLM is way to complicated, the same reason he misses the DP’s so much too!

        • Travis McBee

          July 6, 2017 at 10:05 pm

          Speaking of which, a team that was from the Grand Am side, in DPs too…

  7. dave henrie

    July 5, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    But did not a Honda win the Indy 500? There are more engines than just F1 laddie.

  8. Mike S.

    July 5, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Andretti is rumored to be in HPD next year as well. I think Andretti will return as well.

    • Actually follow racing and read people

      July 5, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      Andretti is hoping to get a GT program going, the fact that they know there is no room left in Prototype shows they’ve been told the same things we hear as rumors. Penske wouldn’t buy a chassis if there’s no where to run it, Penske doesn’t ever spend his own cash and he is NOT in the business of racing a car for pedigree to resell like a few GTD/GTE-AM programs are.

  9. Russ

    July 5, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    1) Penske enters races to win and make money. He will always do the later, and will exit if he cannot do the former.
    2) He asks a lot of his partners/sponsors and in return delivers dominance.
    3)Penske does not do anything half-way. That includes making deals with the series, the chassis and engine suppliers, the tire people – everyone who wants the Penske brand association.
    4) There is a lot on the line for Honda. Their hard-earned reputation for exceptional reliability has been tarnished pretty badly by their failures in F1. They need a positive spotlight.

  10. David James Baltazar

    July 5, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    John, We’ve been over this. As far as you other flubs……keep believing this brand hype for SC365 and Penske

    • Substandard7Speed

      July 6, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Troll Score:
      Originality: 6
      Alias: 10
      Content: 2

      Overall 6/10. Try harder next time.

    • Russ

      July 8, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks for the compliment, David. I’ve been a Penske fan since 1969 when Donohue used their Sunoco Z-28 to crush the competition, like they did the year before. And no, John didn’t put me up to this – it’s just fact – Penske wins at the track and the negotiations table. Honda’s power plant reputation needs help and they have money. It all makes sense.

  11. LarryHorse

    July 6, 2017 at 2:48 am

    Great, another series that Penske can try to destroy. They will poach drivers, staff, and sponsors. Cry like David Richards when the BOP does not go their way.

    • Russ

      July 8, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      Before Penske, auto racing was about rich guys and good form. Penske created the Zerex Special, a full sponsored race car, then suddenly racing became a professional sport. Penske made partnerships at the OEM level when he was just 28. When he was 32, he had several car dealerships, a winning race team backed by Chevrolet, and entered his first car at the Indy 500.

      He doesn’t really destroy entire series, he simply dominates them. He reminds me of Genghis Khan, George Patton, Bill Walsh, Michael Schumacher – those kinda guys.

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