“Captain” now at Le Mans?

“Captain” now at Le Mans?

(Motorsport-Total.com) – Honda offshoot Acura and Team Penske announced Tuesday that they will go their separate ways in the future. The partnership, which culminated in winning the 2019 IMSA SportsCar Championship, will not continue beyond the 2020 season.

Penske and Acura will part ways after three years

The legendary “Captain” team with the luxury brand Honda signed a three-year contract in 2017 that ends at the end of this year. Together, the partnership claimed four victories – one in 2018 with Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor, and three in 2019 with Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron also taking the title.

On the other hand, the desire for victory in the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring remained unfulfilled. At least the final is still possible, as the 12-hour race will be rescheduled for November. There is also a shot at Petit Le Mans, another construction site that can still win.

The reason for the split is still unknown. “We’re proud of what our two teams have accomplished over the past three years, but we couldn’t come to an agreement on how we want to do racing in the future,” says Penske team boss Tim Cindric.

What’s next?

Acura’s announcement doesn’t mean the end of the ARX-05’s mission. However, Acuras does not insist that those activities will continue. A continuation of the program based on the customer game based on the model of Cadillac is conceivable. However, even before the teams interested in the Corona DPi (for the long distance ABC!) were not exactly on track in IMSA.

“We couldn’t find a common line on how we want to do racing in the future.”Tim Cindric

On the other hand, there are also rumors of Honda entering NASCAR as part of a new car. However, that was before Corona.

At the same time, Penske no longer hides the fact that they would like to make a third (and possibly fourth and fifth) attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Roger Penske had already made his expectations clear in January and reiterated them in June.

“Sports cars are a big part of the history of the Penske team. We definitely want to go to Le Mans one day with the right partner under the right conditions,” says Cindric.

For Acura, even if the DPi cars were approved for the 24-hour race at Le Mans, the use would have little meaning because the Acura brand is known only in North America. Changing the name to Honda would cause confusion at home.