Any game Roger Penske can play when it comes to spreading his wings among different manufacturers, Chip Ganassi can play too.
Chip Ganassi Racing announced Tuesday at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas it will run Ford Ecoboost powerplants in its Daytona Prototype entries in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The move is a switch from the Dinan-built, BMW power it has used for several seasons.
The team is the second to announce it will run the Ford Ecoboost V6 turbos in the TUDOR Championship, along with Michael Shank Racing. MSR set a Daytona speed record with the engine and driver Colin Braun last month.
Ganassi’s IndyCar and NASCAR operations run with Chevrolet powerplants, and the immediate question when the IndyCar switch was announced back in Houston last month was whether the sports car operation would follow suit.
Penske, meanwhile, runs Fords in NASCAR, and Chevrolets in IndyCar. “The Captain” does not have a sports car program lined up for 2014.
ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).
“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.
“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”
For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.
“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.
“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”
Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.
“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.