Acura and Team Penske will not continue their IMSA relationship beyond the three-year contract which comes to an end after the 2020 season.
As RACER wrote on Monday, Acura Motorsports is likely to shift its ARX-05 DPi program from its current two-car, single-team structure, to a format used in the former American Le Mans Series where multiple teams worked alongside Honda Performance Development to field single entries.
“On behalf of everyone at Acura and HPD, we’d like to thank Team Penske for their incredible efforts and impressive results racing the ARX-05,” said Honda Performance Development president Ted Klaus, who oversees Acura Motorsports. “The success we’ve achieved together during the first two-plus years of the program makes us even more determined to score more victories, defend our championships, and conclude our partnership on the highest of notes.”
Using its production-based 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine derived from Acura’s line of CUVs, the ARX-05s debuted in 2018 with Team Penske, and went on the win all three DPi championships in 2019 – Drivers’, Teams’, and Manufacturers’ – before moving into the final year of the contract.
“Roger Penske has long been an important part of the Acura family as one of our great Acura dealers, and it has been a privilege to have him as part of the Acura Motorsports family as well,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and brand officer. “We’ve also had a very spirited competition with Team Penske during our previous ALMS Acura prototype programs. We will always be thankful for the contributions made by Team Penske over the three-year course of our DPi program.”
HPD has not indicated which team or teams will represent Acura when the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season begins in January.