Friday, October 6, 2017

Penske late to Petit Le Mans party

The will-they, won't they? Internal Tug 'O War

was finally confirmed Thursday, Sept 28th, which I believe was after Team Penske had missed the initial Petit Le Mans entry Deadline, with El Capitano', nee Roger Penske prevailing over team president Tim Cindric's cautious let's see approach.

Thus Team Penske will field a single customer ORECA 07 P2 chassis powered by the mandated spec Gibson 4.2-liter Normally Aspirated V-8 lump', appropriately sporting the No. 6 for Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud.

As the entry at the high speed demanding Road Atlanta circuit is being used as a race weekend "Tune Up" for Penske's fulltime assault of the Weathertech SportsCar Championship season in 2018, when they'll compete with two factory Acura ARX-05 DPi Prototypes, with most likely two thirds of the Petit's driver trio behind the Keyboards next year.

As we know that Montoya will be paired with Dean Cameron next year, after he finishes off his driving duties aboard the rival #31 Action Express Racing's Cadillac VR Daytona Prototype International (DPi) car, alongside Eric Curran, who are the reigning IMSA 2016 Prototype champions until the chequered flag flies.

As former Sauber F1 Driver Felipe Nasr will replace Dean Cameron at Action Express Racing next year...

Meanwhile, perhaps Penske will finally announce what everybody's expecting, by confirming that Castroneves will go Sports Car racing fulltime next year aboard the other Acura Team Penske DPi.

While I wouldn't be surprised to see Pagenaud, and Uhm, another IndyCar driver from Roger's stable moonlight as the third Schues' at next year's Rolex 24. Although I don't know if either Will Power or Josef Newgarden have ever driven Sports Cars?

And although you'd have to expect the odds are against Penske's prototype entry winning this Saturday, I suppose you cannot entirely overlook Europe's Le Mans P2 chassis contingent,.

Since the Visit Florida Racing's Ligier JS P217/Gibson won last time out at Laguna Seca when Renger van der Zande made "the Pass!" With the Dutchman making the winning move a la El Zorro's (Alex Zanardi) famous overtake in The Corkscrew!

As van der Zande and co-driver Marc Goossens were victorious over the all conquering Wayne Taylor Racing's #10 Caddy' with The Brothers Taylor, a la Ricky & Jordan soon to be crowned this year's Prototype champions.

While Rebellion Racing, a longtime World Endurance Championship LMP1 Privateer competitor, made the switch to the P2 category this year, and will return to action Stateside, where they're contesting the four rounds of the North American Endurance Cup, (NAEC) which petit's the final round of...