Acura Team Penske Looks for Home Field Advantage at Long Beach
- Acura Team Penske seeks to convert early-season speed to hometown victory
- Long Beach race takes place near Acura, American Honda headquarters
- Bubba burger Sports Car Grand Prix to feature West Coast debut for Acura ARX-05 prototypes
TORRANCE, Calif. (April 10, 2018) – Acura’s new ARX-05 prototypes will make their West Coast race debut this weekend on the streets of Long Beach, California, as a pair of Acura Team Penske entries look for their first victory at the Bubba burger Sports Car Grand Prix. Saturday’s 100-minute event is the third round of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.
“At both the season-opening Rolex 24 and last month’s 12 Hours of Sebring, our Acura Team Penske ARX-05s definitely had the speed to challenge for the victory,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development and Acura Motorsports. “We led at different times at both events. Now we need to convert that speed into race wins, and there’s no better place to do that than here at Long Beach with so many of our fellow Acura associates, their families and our many fans in attendance.”
Acura Team Penske
The combination of Acura Motorsports and Team Penske brings together a pair of organizations with a long history of success in sports car racing under the Acura Team Penske umbrella.
The Acura ARX-05 is the latest in a line of endurance prototypes fielded by the company, dating to 1991, just five years after the 1986 launch of the Acura brand. Based on the very successful ORECA 07 chassis, the new ARX-05 prototype features Acura-specific bodywork and utilizes the race-proven, production-based Acura AR35TT twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine.
The four drivers sharing Penske’s two Acura ARX-05 prototypes – Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya in the #6 Acura, and Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor in the #7 – account for four Rolex 24 overall victories, two WeatherTech Championship titles, five Indianapolis 500 wins and seven Formula One trophies.
In this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in January, both ARX-05s spent time at the front of the field before being delayed by a relatively minor mechanical issue (#6) and a collision with another prototype (#7).
Last month, at the notoriously demanding Sebring circuit, the Acura Team Penske entries again contended for victory, but neither was able to finish. Taylor, starting driver for the #7 Penske Acura, and co-driver Castroneves led during the early hours. Their Acura remained in the top three until the car retired with a mechanical issue just as the race reached its six-hour midpoint. Less than one hour later, the sister #6 car of Cameron and Montoya also retired with mechanical issues, and following contact with another prototype.
Acura NSX GT3 Teams
IMSA’s GTD category is not a part of the IMSA weekend at Long Beach, but the Acura NSX GT3s will return to the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the May 4-6 Acura Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Acura’s title sponsorship for this race was announced earlier today.
Where to watch the Bubba burger Sports Car Grand Prix
Live television coverage from Long Beach begins at 4 p.m. EDT Saturday, April 14, on the Fox Network. The entire race also will be streamed live on Fox Sports GO, with FS1 authentication, starting at 3:55 p.m. EDT.
Fans can listen in to audio commentary via IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and Sirius XM Radio; and follow the race live via in-car cameras, IMSA Radio and timing & scoring available worldwide on IMSA.com and the IMSA mobile device App.
Video recaps from this weekend’s Acura Motorsports activities at Long Beach, as well as Honda IndyCar highlights from this weekend’s Grand Prix of Long Beach, are being posted on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the 2018 HPD Trackside Video Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.