Acura Announces IMSA Split From Team Penske After Three Years Of Marriage

Illustration for article titled Acura Announces IMSA Split From Team Penske After Three Years Of Marriage
Photo: Team Penske

Automaker Acura and her racing team partner Team Penske have announced their upcoming scheduled separation just 32 months into their marriage. A representative for Penske released a statement on Tuesday to SportsCar365 which read: “We are proud of the efforts that our organizations have put forth together over the last three seasons but we simply couldn’t align on how we should go racing in the future.” Ugh, my OTP is breaking up, and it’s breaking my heart.

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Acura and Penske came together in late 2017 with the fruits of the marriage hitting the track at the start of the 2018 season. The team’s first win came that year at Mid Ohio with Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves. A year later, the sister car of Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron took three victories at Mid Ohio, Belle Isle, and Laguna Seca. Across the first three races of this season the team has suffered bad luck and mistakes, averaging a 6th place finishing position in an 8-car class.

The couple have vowed to stay together—for the drivers—through the end of the 2020 season. The original contract between the two parties was for a three year collaboration, and their marriage contract will not be renewed. As Racer.com reports, it would seem Acura just couldn’t be tied down, preferring multiple partners. From Racer: “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.”

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But don’t worry, Penske will likely rebound pretty quickly. With great sports car drivers like Dane Cameron and Ricky Taylor on their roster, it’s likely the team will find luck with a new OEM looking to cast their net in the DPi pond. There are plenty of fish in the sea, Roger. Penske previously ran the American arm of Porsche’s RS Spyder LMP2 prototype program, and Porsche has been rumored to be investigating a new DPi effort, so perhaps Team Penske will be getting back together with its ex?

Ted Klaus, president of Honda Performance Development said in a press release.: “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.”

The Acura/Penske split is said to be amicable, but we haven’t heard yet who gets to keep Helio.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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DISCUSSION

wheelerguy
Wheelerguy

Not surprised, but unlike some higher-profile exits in sportscar racing right, I’m not disappointed, mostly because I reckon both Acura and Penske can get by. That said, what’s stopping either of them from just bailing on IMSA proto entirely?