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Acura Team Penske Rolex 24 Preview

The combination of Acura Motorsports, Team Penske and the new Acura ARX-05 DPi resulted in an encouraging first year of IMSA competition, including a 1-2 finish at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, two poles and five podium finishes in 2018. For 2019, all involved are looking to build on that foundation and contend for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The Acura ARX-05 is the latest in a line of endurance prototypes to be fielded by the company, dating to 1991, just five years after the launch of the Acura brand. Based on the successful ORECA 07 chassis, the ARX-05 DPi features Acura-specific bodywork and utilizes the race-proven, production-based Acura AR35TT twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine. Former rivals with Acura in the American Le Mans Series a decade ago, the Team Penske organization demonstrated the performance potential of the ARX-05 right from the start, with Helio Castroneves qualifying on the front row for the Rolex 24 and Juan Pablo Montoya claiming the first pole at Long Beach. A dominating performance saw Castroneves and Ricky Taylor win from the pole at Mid-Ohio, with Montoya and Dane Cameron finishing second. A double-podium result in Detroit and podium finishes at Watkins Glen and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca were additional highlights to the 2018 season. To celebrate IMSA’s 50th year of endurance sports car racing, both Acura Team Penske entries this year feature “throwback” orange and white liveries commemorating the consecutive IMSA Camel GT Comptech Acura NSX “Camel Lights” prototype champions of 1991-93. The six drivers sharing Penske’s two Acura ARX-05 prototypes – Montoya, Cameron and Simon Pagneaud in the #6 Acura; and Castroneves, Taylor and Alexander Rossi in the #7 entry – account for five Rolex 24 overall victories, three IMSA titles, six Indianapolis 500 wins, two IndyCar Series championships, and seven Formula One trophies.