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Penske Enters WEC with Porsche LMDh Drivers

Cameron, Nasr, Collard to drive Penske-run Oreca 07 Gibson in WEC…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Team Penske will make its FIA World Endurance Championship debut this year with an LMP2 entry involving Porsche LMDh signings Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr.

The former Acura DPi squad is shown on the official entry list for the 2022 season with a single Oreca 07 Gibson in the second-tier prototype category.

Porsche factory drivers Cameron and Nasr will team up with two-time GTE-Am class champion Emmanuel Collard, who is making his return to the LMP2 class after a 2017 spell with TDS Racing.

Collard, 50, is the designated FIA Silver-rated driver and qualified for the role after being downgraded due to his age at the end of last year.

Penske tested an Oreca LMP2 car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October, opening speculation that the successful open-wheel, NASCAR and sports car team was preparing an LMP2 effort.

The organization is set to contest the full six-round campaign, which will include Penske’s first 24 Hours of Le Mans entry in 51 years.

“We look forward to learning as much as we can about the WEC process in 2022 as most of our competition has competed in this series for many years,” said team president Tim Cindric.

“Much like the approach we took by running Road Atlanta in 2017 when we returned to sports car racing after an eight-year hiatus, we think the LMP2 class provides us a means of gaining valuable experience as we continue to build our program to compete full-time in the IMSA and WEC LMDh class.”

The team will run the Porsche factory LMDh effort under the Porsche Penske Motorsport banner from the 2023 WEC and WeatherTech Championships seasons.

Penske’s last LMP2 foray came in 2017 when it fielded an Oreca at Motul Petit Le Mans for Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud.

That was in advance of the organization’s three-year tenure as the operator of the Oreca-based Acura ARX-05.

It won the 2019 DPi championship with Cameron and Montoya before Castroneves and Ricky Taylor repeated the feat in 2020.

Nasr won two titles with Cadillac DPi squad Action Express Racing in 2018 and last year before signing on to the Porsche LMDh program.

“Joining Team Penske is a great opportunity and I can’t wait to compete in WEC and return to Le Mans this year,” said Nasr.

“I know we’ll learn a lot as a team as we develop our program and gain some great experience. I’m really excited to get to work as we begin to build momentum for the future.”

Both Nasr and Cameron are set for their first seasons in the WEC, while Cameron is the only member of the lineup to have never previously competed at Le Mans.

Collard, meanwhile, is set for his 25th appearance in the French endurance classic and his first with an American team since getting a Corvette Racing ride in 2010.

“Outside of Sebring and Spa, racing at some of these historic tracks all around the world will be a new experience for both myself and the team,” said Cameron.

“We want to learn, but we also want to be competitive and race for class wins. This will also be a great opportunity to build our notebooks to be even better prepared for the future.

“I’m excited to race at these historic tracks against some great competition in WEC, and it’s going to be incredible to compete for Team Penske at Le Mans.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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