Acura Motorsports and Team Penske are fielding a prototype effort in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The program will include a pair of new Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International entries on Motegi Racing wheels.
The official competition debut is set to take place at the season-opening Rolex 24 in February, 2018, with the Roar before the 24 slated to take place early next month.
The formal unveiling of the ARX-05 took place this summer at Monterey Car Week and the team recently confirmed an all-star driver lineup.
IMSA Prototype Champion Ricky Taylor, Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves, multi-disciplinary racer Juan Pablo Montoya, sportscar champion Dane Cameron, IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud and multiple IndyCar race winner Graham Rahal will team up to pilot the team’s two vehicles.
The Acura ARX-05 (which stands for “Acura Racing eXperimental, generation 5”) is the latest in a line of endurance prototypes to be fielded by the company dating back to 1991, just five years after the 1986 launch of the Acura brand. Based on the very successful ORECA 07 chassis, the new ARX-05 prototype features Acura-specific bodywork and uses the race-proven, production-based Acura AR35TT twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine.
The Acura ARX-05 will add to a rich legacy of Acura sports car racing campaigns and championships, including the 1991-93 IMSA Camel Lights manufacturer and driver championships; 50 IMSA and American Le Mans Series class or overall race victories, and the 2009 American Le Mans Series manufacturer, driver and team championships in both the LMP1 and LMP2 classes.
Acura Motorsports currently campaigns the Acura NSX GT3 in the IMSA GTD category with Michael Shank Racing – where it has already won at Detroit and Watkins Glen this season – as well as with Real Time Racing in the Pirelli World Challenge GT division.
One of the most recognizable names in motorsports, Team Penske has scored victories in nearly every series in which the team has competed. With more than 460 major race wins and 29 national championships, including 14 in INDYCAR and 10 in sports car competition, Team Penske is among the most successful teams in the history of professional sports.
More than 30 years after first winning at the highest levels of sports car racing, Team Penske returned to its roots with a successful LMP2-class effort in the American Le Mans Series from 2005-08, winning class championships between 2006 and 2008.