One of the most iconic teams in the motorsports world could return to IMSA competition by as early as next year.
Multiple industry sources have indicated to Sportscar365 that Penske Racing has been evaluating a Prototype entry into the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which could see the championship-winning team campaign an Oreca 05 P2 car.
The proposed program, which would begin at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, is believed to be a first step towards a potential manufacturer-driven project for 2017 when IMSA debuts the new DPi formula for its top prototype class.
Penske President Tim Cindric and ORECA’s Hugues de Chaunac met at Circuit of The Americas in September, with further discussions understood to have taken place since.
When reached by Sportscar365, a Penske Racing spokesperson declined comment.
Penske is no stranger to prototype racing, having claimed three consecutive American Le Mans Series P2 titles with Porsche from 2006-08, along with entering a Porsche-powered Riley DP in the Rolex Sports Car Series in 2009, it’s most recent sports car racing effort.
It’s unclear if the potential program would be a full-season effort or just tied around Daytona and other major races on the 2016 WeatherTech Championship calendar.
ORECA currently does not have a North American presence with its new LMP2 coupe, which scored class victory in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, although the DragonSpeed outfit announced plans to run an Oreca 05 Nissan at Sebring.