Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing will run Acura ARX-05 prototypes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, with the two single-car programs taking over from Acura Team Penske in the DPi class.
Confirmed by Acura and Honda Performance Development on Wednesday, both programs will debut in January’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Drivers for the two cars have yet to be announced although Sportscar365 understands that HPD-contracted drivers Ricky Taylor and Dane Cameron are likely to continue at the wheel of the ORECA-based DPis.
As previously reported by Sportscar365, WTR had been linked to a switch from its longstanding partner Cadillac to Acura for 2021, while MSR will return to the top prototype ranks with HPD after campaigning Acura NSX GT3s for the last four years.
Prior to that, the Ohio-based team had run a Honda-powered Ligier JS P2 in the Prototype class, claiming multiple wins.
The multi-year deals with both teams include the planned collaboration for an Acura LMDh car.
“We welcome Wayne Taylor Racing into the Acura Motorsports family, and very much anticipate their contributions to our prototype program,” said HPD President Ted Klaus. “Equally, we look forward to growing our successful partnership with Meyer Shank Racing, now in DPi.
“Our intention is to have Acura Motorsports partner with MSR and WTR, to not only continue our championship ways in DPi, but to collaborate to develop the next generation Acura LMDh.”
While having long been associated with GM, team owner Wayne Taylor’s roots with Acura stretches back to 1992 when he drove for the Comptech Acura squad in IMSA Camel Lights competition.
The championship-winning team depart Cadillac after a four-year association with the brand.
“I am extremely excited to have this opportunity given to me by HPD and Acura Motorsports,” said Taylor. “Since getting to know everyone at HPD and Acura Motorsports, I feel that they have a lot of respect for the Wayne Taylor Racing family.
“What I really like is that they have the same passion and vision as I do. I am looking forward to running the DPi for the next few years.
“I am equally excited to be able to bring my long-term partnership with Konica Minolta, Rick Taylor and Michael Mathe to the program. We all can’t wait to get started.”
MSR co-owner Michael Shank has previously stated ambitions of returning to top-class competition and is understood to have previously been denied an Acura DPi entry because of Team Penske’s exclusivity clause with the car.
“I’m really proud of building a championship-winning program and everything that we’ve been able to accomplish together with the NSX,” said Shank.
“As a team, we’ve been working toward the opportunity to go and fight for overall wins for a long time, and I am eager to get going with this program. But we have some work to do first, and we are 100 percent focused on bringing another IMSA championship home with the Acura NSX in 2020.”
Both Klaus and Acura Brand Officer Jon Ikeda have paid tribute to Team Penske’s efforts over the last three seasons that has amounted to six wins, 14 poles and the 2019 DPi championship with Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya.
“We also want to thank Roger Penske, who has long been an important part of the Acura family as one of our great Acura dealers,” Ikeda said. “It has been a privilege to have Roger as part of the Acura Motorsports family over the past three years.”