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Staff Penske provides Ricky Taylor, Graham Rahal, Simon Pagenaud for IMSA effort

Staff Penske provides Ricky Taylor, Graham Rahal, Simon Pagenaud for IMSA effort

Acura Staff Penske is including IMSA Prototype champion Ricky Taylor to its 2018 Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype Worldwide (DPi) program.

Taylor, who teamed with brother Jordan Taylor to win the 2017 IMSA title for Wayne Taylor Racing, will workforce up with Helio Castroneves in one among his new workforce’s two full-time entries within the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship subsequent season. They may be a part of the beforehand introduced pairing of Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron.

As well as, Graham Rahal and 2016 Verizon IndyCar Collection champion Simon Pagenaud will be a part of this system as endurance drivers when the workforce makes its competitors debut with the brand new Acura prototype sports activities vehicles at IMSA’s 2018 season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona in January and the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.

The motive force strikes had been introduced on Staff Penske’s web site on Wednesday.

“Including a champion sports activities automobile driver in Ricky will assist our workforce develop and develop,” mentioned Roger Penske. “Ricky had an outstanding season in 2017. He brings quite a lot of sports activities automobile expertise and his information of the vehicles, the race tracks and the collection general will likely be an enormous profit to our workforce. Having that have, together with the successful pedigree of Helio, Juan and Dane, gives an excellent platform as we launch the Acura Staff Penske program subsequent season. Whenever you add Simon and Graham for the endurance races, I really feel like we now have a powerful lineup for Daytona and Sebring.”

Graham Rahal will race in IMSA endurance occasions for Staff Penske subsequent season. Picture by LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC

“We’re actually excited to have three extra nice drivers be a part of the Acura Staff Penske program and spherical out our lineup for subsequent season,” mentioned Artwork St. Cyr, president of Honda Efficiency Growth. “Ricky will likely be an excellent addition and placing him with Helio will make for a formidable duo to affix the opposite workforce of Juan and Dane. Then, you add Simon and Graham, who’ve every pushed for Acura previously, we couldn’t be extra enthusiastic about getting the ARX-05 able to go for Daytona.”

At Petit Le Mans, Taylor clinched the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype title racing alongside his youthful brother Jordan. Wayne Taylor Racing loved a dominant starting to 2017, successful a report 5 consecutive races to begin the season, together with the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Ricky has earned 19 wins in Prototype competitors since 2008.

His first alternative to work with Staff Penske got here in February of this yr when he examined the Indy automobile, usually pushed by Pagenaud, on the Homestead-Miami Speedway highway course.

“It was an excellent expertise getting an opportunity to check an Indy automobile with Staff Penske, however to get a name from Roger Penske providing the chance to drive one among his race vehicles full time — effectively, that’s a life-changing alternative,” mentioned Taylor. “We have now had quite a lot of success within the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship the previous couple of seasons with my dad’s workforce, together with successful each the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Championship this yr. I’m undoubtedly prepared for the following problem in my profession and I couldn’t be extra excited to affix Staff Penske and work with Helio, Juan and Dane to launch the brand new manufacturing unit Acura effort and begin successful with the ARX-05 in 2018.”

Simon Pagenaud - pic

Simon Pagenaud will likely be pulling double responsibility for Staff Penske subsequent season, driving each Indy vehicles and sports activities vehicles for workforce proprietor Roger Penske. Picture by LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC

Along with his IMSA racing expertise, Taylor has raced within the 24 Hours of Le Mans 4 occasions, with a greatest end of 14th general (2014) and fifth in school (2013).

Recognized extra for his six profession wins with the Verizon IndyCar Collection and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Rahal has competed in sports activities automobile competitors since 2006, primarily filling in as an endurance driver on the longer occasions like Daytona, Sebring and Highway Atlanta. He was a part of the general successful prototype effort on the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona for Chip Ganassi Racing. He has competed in GT2, GTLM and GTD courses over the course of his sports activities automobile profession, most not too long ago working an Acura NSX GT3 for Michael Shank Racing at this yr’s Rolex 24.

“This will likely be a dream come true to get to race within the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring for Roger Penske, somebody who not solely means so much to sports activities automobile racing, however motorsports normally,” mentioned Rahal. “I’m excited for the chance and I actually stay up for racing the Acura ARX-05. I’ve been lucky sufficient to race with the Acura model already and had fun working the Acura NSX at Daytona this previous season. It’s thrilling to maneuver to an Acura prototype for subsequent yr’s Rolex 24. I’m going to do the whole lot I can to assist my teammates and hopefully get my second general win in January.”

Pagenaud has earned 10 American Le Mans Collection wins between 2009 and 2013, together with a category win within the 2010 Petit Le Mans whereas racing for Acura. As well as, he earned 4 wins whereas driving for Peugeot, together with two at Spa and two at Silverstone. He’s additionally a former pole sitter for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

He joined teammates Montoya and Castroneves as Staff Penske competed final weekend on the 20th anniversary Petit Le Mans with an ORECA LMP2. The Staff Penske trio gained the general pole for the occasion and accomplished all 10 hours, ending on the rostrum within the third place.

“I’ve been hoping for the chance to work with Staff Penske within the endurance races for subsequent yr and I’m excited to get the chance,” mentioned Pagenaud. “We had a powerful first displaying at Petit Le Mans final weekend and I really feel just like the workforce is heading in the right direction. All the drivers had some rust to knock off driving some of these vehicles and the workforce acquired quite a lot of nice expertise. I like driving sports activities automobile and it makes me a greater driver over in IndyCar, as effectively.”

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