A strong start: the 1970ies.
After the race driver Roger Penske retired from active motorsports in 1965, he returned step-by-step to various race series with his US-American race stable Team Penske in 1966. In 1972, Porsche and Penske entered the grid together in the Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am). With them: the Porsche 917/10 – a vehicle ahead of its time with a racing engine including an exhaust gas turbocharger.
During the first run on June 11, 1972, the Team Penske driver Mark Donohue immediately achieved the second spot with the 1,000 hp strong 917/10. And that despite the fact that his turbo throttle cap was stuck open due to track dust, throwing him back by three rounds. During the Road Atlanta in the following spring, George Follmer took the driver’s spot of an injured Donohue – and raced for the victory. Thus began a series of wins for Team Penske and Porsche: out of 17 races in two seasons, the team achieved 11 victories.
Title holders: the 2000s.
In the year 2006, Team Penske returned once more to the IMSA, together with Porsche Motorsport. The team entered the LMP2 category of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with the Porsche RS Spyder – and directly won the overall victory, manufacturer title and the driver’s title in the first year.
The following years, 2007 and 2008, were much of the same: With the Porsche RS Spyder, Team Penske won all titles of the LMP2 class once more. And even won against LMP1 prototypes. Particularly in 2008, the cooperation fulfilled a long harbored dream: the victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring and they managed it twice-over. First and second spot went to Team Penske. Meanwhile for Porsche, this was the first victory after exactly 20 years in Florida.
Record hunters: 2023 onwards.
The first race of the year and season 2023 will be Daytona. But the team could already grow into a cohesive unit during the development and homologation of the Porsche 963. After the roll-out of the LMDh prototype, the Porsche Penske Motorsport Team went straight to on-track testing: the team covered roughly 8,000 kilometers in the first half of the year 2022, just to prepare the Porsche 963 for its run in the IMSA.
Particularly on the North American continent, the team couldn’t help but rely on well-established customs: Porsche Penske Motorsport will be entering the GTP class of the IMSA with the starting numbers 6 and 7 – the very same starting numbers carried by the RS Spyder vehicles from 2006 to 2008. Back then, #6 took the title in Laguna Seca, while #7 achieved 16 victories in the following years. A promising record that the team would like to build upon.
Over the past few months, our people at Porsche Motorsport and Team Penske have grown into an efficient and committed squad – the Porsche Penske Motorsport Team.
Green light for Daytona.
The first race is due in January: During the 24 Hours of Daytona, Porsche Penske Motorsport will face its competition for the first time. The team was already quite ambitious during the homologation phase for the Porsche 963: In January, the 963 already went through the shakedown process for stability testing and covered over 20,000 kilometers since then. The goal of the developmental time: A vehicle, that can consistently uphold high speeds over time, while still being accessible for driver and crew.
As soon as the lights go out for the first time during the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 2023 race season for hybrid prototypes officially begins. And thus, the phase in which Porsche Penske Motorsport and the Porsche 963 can prove that they can add even more to their past successes.