Alexander Rossi might be one of Team Penske’s biggest rivals in the IndyCar Series, but the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner is now part of the team in sports car racing. Acura Team Penske announced today that Rossi will join its program for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance events at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Rossi, a five-time race winner in the IndyCar Series with Andretti Autosport, replaces Graham Rahal in the the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 Prototype DPi that he will share with full-time Acura Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor.
Team Penske IndyCar Series driver Simon Pagenaud will return to compete in the endurance events with the team in 2019, racing the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi with full-time racers Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron.
“I have watched and raced against Team Penske in IndyCar and I have a lot of respect for the organization and what they do and how they do it,” said Rossi. “I really appreciate Andretti Autosport for allowing me the opportunity to represent Acura in some of the biggest sports car races in the world. I can’t wait to work with Helio and Ricky, to learn from them and hopefully contribute to some wins and a championship for Acura Team Penske.”
While an accomplished open-wheel racer, Rossi’s 2019 program with Penske will be his first opportunity in top-line sports cars.
“Alexander will be a great addition to the Acura Team Penske line-up in 2019 and all of us at Acura are very excited about our prospects for the coming season,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development. “We look forward to our second opportunity to win the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the ARX-05. Alexander has been a great representative of Honda in the IndyCar Series, from his Indy 500 victory in 2016 to competing for the title this past season. We are pleased to have this opportunity to build our relationship with him through our sports car program.”
Acura Team Penske returned to sports car competition in 2018 with its two-car Acura DPi program in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. The team scored one victory with Castroneves and Taylor at Mid-Ohio, along with three poles and nine top-five finishes.
The 2019 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship begins with the Roar Before the 24 January 4-6, followed by the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 26.